- by Dr Md Shiyad K K
- 3 Shares
- Dec 29 2017
Mad cow disease: Symptoms and Causes
What is Mad Cow disease?
It is an infectious disease caused by prions that affect the brains of cattle. It is called as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a name that refers to the changes seen in brain tissue of affected cows. People cannot get a mad cow disease, but in rare cases they may get a human form of mad cow disease called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which is fatal.
This can happen if you eat nerve tissue (the brain and spinal cord) of cattle that were infected with mad cow disease. Over time, vCJD destroys the brain and spinal cord.
People with vCJD cannot spread it to others through casual contact. People who have spent a lot of time in places where mad cow disease has been found are not allowed to give blood in the US or Canada.
Experts are not sure about the cause of cow mad disease or vCJD. The leading theory is that the disease is caused by infectious proteins called prions. In affected cows, these proteins are found in the brain, spinal cord, and small intestine.
- Tingling, burning, or prickling in the face, hands, feet, and legs.
- Psychotic behaviour
- Problems moving parts of the body.
There is no single test to diagnose vCJD. Imaging tests, such as an MRI, may be done to check for brain changes caused by VCJD.
A brain biopsy is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of vCJD.
There is no cure for vCJD. Treatment includes managing the symptoms that occur as the disease gets worse.
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