Jonathan Simms lies in a bed at a hospital somewhere in Belfast — the British courts will not allow the press to say exactly where. He is thin and pale, and on the wall behind him his parents have propped photos taken in happier times, to show the staff the handsome 18-year-old locked within this shell. It is hard to see the connection between that vibrant young man and the one who lies here now, jerking with involuntary spasms.
Why study prions? Because no family should ever have to endure watching their child slowly waste away and become a shell of the person they once were.