PrPSc Proteins: Abnormal isoform of prion proteins (PRIONS) resulting from a posttranslational modification of the cellular prion protein (PRPC PROTEINS). PrPSc are disease-specific proteins seen in certain human and animal neurodegenerative diseases (PRION DISEASES).Scrapie: A fatal disease of the nervous system in sheep and goats, characterized by pruritus, debility, and locomotor incoordination. It is caused by proteinaceous infectious particles called PRIONS.PrPC Proteins: Normal cellular isoform of prion proteins (PRIONS) encoded by a chromosomal gene and found in normal and scrapie-infected brain tissue, and other normal tissue. PrPC are protease-sensitive proteins whose function is unknown. Posttranslational modification of PrPC into PrPSC leads to infectivity.Prions: Small proteinaceous infectious particles which resist inactivation by procedures that modify NUCLEIC ACIDS and contain an abnormal isoform of a cellular protein which is a major and necessary component. The abnormal (scrapie) isoform is PrPSc (PRPSC PROTEINS) and the cellular isoform PrPC (PRPC PROTEINS). The primary amino acid sequence of the two isoforms is identical. Human diseases caused by prions include CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB SYNDROME; GERSTMANN-STRAUSSLER SYNDROME; and INSOMNIA, FATAL FAMILIAL.Prion Diseases: A group of genetic, infectious, or sporadic degenerative human and animal nervous system disorders associated with abnormal PRIONS. These diseases are characterized by conversion of the normal prion protein to an abnormal configuration via a post-translational process. In humans, these conditions generally feature DEMENTIA; ATAXIA; and a fatal outcome. Pathologic features include a spongiform encephalopathy without evidence of inflammation. The older literature occasionally refers to these as unconventional SLOW VIRUS DISEASES. (From Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1998 Nov 10;95(23):13363-83)Endopeptidase K: An enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of keratin, and of other proteins with subtilisin-like specificity. It hydrolyses peptide amides. Endopeptidase K is from the mold Tritirachium album Limber. (Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 18.104.22.168.PrP 27-30 Protein: Protease-resistant core of PrPSC, the abnormal isoform of prion proteins (PRIONS). PrP 27-30 is produced by limited proteolysis of the N-terminus of PrPSc.Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome: A rare transmissible encephalopathy most prevalent between the ages of 50 and 70 years. Affected individuals may present with sleep disturbances, personality changes, ATAXIA; APHASIA, visual loss, weakness, muscle atrophy, MYOCLONUS, progressive dementia, and death within one year of disease onset. A familial form exhibiting autosomal dominant inheritance and a new variant CJD (potentially associated with ENCEPHALOPATHY, BOVINE SPONGIFORM) have been described. Pathological features include prominent cerebellar and cerebral cortical spongiform degeneration and the presence of PRIONS. (From N Engl J Med, 1998 Dec 31;339(27))Mesocricetus: A genus of the family Muridae having three species. The present domesticated strains were developed from individuals brought from Syria. They are widely used in biomedical research.Sheep: Any of the ruminant mammals with curved horns in the genus Ovis, family Bovidae. They possess lachrymal grooves and interdigital glands, which are absent in GOATS.Encephalopathy, Bovine Spongiform: A transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cattle associated with abnormal prion proteins in the brain. Affected animals develop excitability and salivation followed by ATAXIA. This disorder has been associated with consumption of SCRAPIE infected ruminant derived protein. This condition may be transmitted to humans, where it is referred to as variant or new variant CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB SYNDROME. (Vet Rec 1998 Jul 25;143(41):101-5)Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Disease: An autosomal dominant familial prion disease with a wide spectrum of clinical presentations including ATAXIA, spastic paraparesis, extrapyramidal signs, and DEMENTIA. Clinical onset is in the third to sixth decade of life and the mean duration of illness prior to death is five years. Several kindreds with variable clinical and pathologic features have been described. Pathologic features include cerebral prion protein amyloidosis, and spongiform or neurofibrillary degeneration. (From Brain Pathol 1998 Jul;8(3):499-513; Brain Pathol 1995 Jan;5(1):61-75)Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.Cricetinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the hamsters. Four of the more common genera are Cricetus, CRICETULUS; MESOCRICETUS; and PHODOPUS.Congo Red: An acid dye used in testing for hydrochloric acid in gastric contents. It is also used histologically to test for AMYLOIDOSIS.Brain Chemistry: Changes in the amounts of various chemicals (neurotransmitters, receptors, enzymes, and other metabolites) specific to the area of the central nervous system contained within the head. These are monitored over time, during sensory stimulation, or under different disease states.Wasting Disease, Chronic: A transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (prion disease) of DEER and elk characterized by chronic weight loss leading to death. It is thought to spread by direct contact between animals or through environmental contamination with the prion protein (PRIONS).Sarcosine: An amino acid intermediate in the metabolism of choline.Lymphoid Tissue: Specialized tissues that are components of the lymphatic system. They provide fixed locations within the body where a variety of LYMPHOCYTES can form, mature and multiply. The lymphoid tissues are connected by a network of LYMPHATIC VESSELS.Decontamination: The removal of contaminating material, such as radioactive materials, biological materials, or CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS, from a person or object.