BSE causes classical CJD also?

Health – canada.com network

New research suggests that the human form of mad cow disease is a lot more complicated than originally thought, and, potentially, much scarier.

Scientists have long agreed that eating cattle tissue infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy – mad cow disease – can cause the human form of the disease, known as variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease.

But recent animal tests indicate that eating infected beef may also cause another form of the disease, classical CJD, forcing scientists to re-examine assumptions about the nature of the deadly disease and raising fears that it may be more widespread than previously thought.

The accepted wisdom has been that classical CJD has nothing to do with mad cows. It affects older people, those over 55, and generally occurs spontaneously at the rate of about one person per million per year.

It has been confused with Alzheimer’s disease and there is some concern that because of misdiagnosis, it may be more widespread than the confirmed numbers indicate.

CJD may be going undetected because budget cutbacks mean fewer autopsies, and in many cases that’s the only way to diagnose CJD. Still, I think you’re more likely to get hit by a beef delivery truck than contract CJD from beef, at least here…

posted at 12:06 pm on Friday, January 23, 2004 in Current Events | Comments Off on BSE causes classical CJD also?

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