BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, is a deadly neurological illness that affects cattle. The duration between the start of symptoms and death is usually weeks to months. Propagation to humans is thought to lead to the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease variant.

Furthermore, it is hypothesized that an infection causes bovine spongiform encephalopathy with a misfolded protein is called a prion. Cattle are thought to have become infected after eating meat-and-bone meals containing either the remnants of cattle that got scrapie naturally or scrapie-infected sheep commodities. When a person consumes meat from a cow infected with this disease, complications may arise.

SYMPTOMS

When a person consumes meat from cows infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Quick, jerky motions
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Problem speaking
  • Incoordination
  • Insomnia
  • Blindness or blurred vision
  • Impaired reasoning
  • Memory lapses
  • Personality changes

Mental symptoms develop as the condition advances. The majority of individuals infected may suffer a coma. Moreover, the most common causes of mortality are pneumonia, respiratory problems, cardiac failure, or other infections, typically occurring within a year.

DIAGNOSIS

Only a brain biopsy or an autopsy of brain tissue can prove the existence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease caused by bovine spongiform encephalopathy. However, physicians may typically establish an accurate diagnosis depending on your health and family’s background, specific diagnostic tests, and neurological tests.

In addition, the examination will likely uncover signs like coordination issues, aberrant reflexes, and muscular spasms. People could also experience blind spots and alterations in their visual-spatial perception.

Furthermore, clinicians often utilize the following tests to aid in the detection of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease:

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG). Utilizing electrodes inserted on the scalp, this testing monitors the brain’s electrical activity since individuals infected with BSE have a distinctively aberrant structure.
  • MRI. This imaging method uses radio signals and a magnetic field to create cross-sectional pictures of the body and head. Due to its high-resolution, scans of the brain’s gray and white matter are extremely valuable in identifying brain problems.
  • Spinal fluid analysis. The spinal cord and brain are surrounded and cushioned by cerebral spinal fluid. 

TREATMENT

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease caused by bovine spongiform encephalopathy has no effective therapy. Many medications have been tried and found to be ineffective. As a result, physicians concentrate on treating pain and other symptoms to keep patients as comfortable as possible.

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