Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is a type of prion disease that can cause death. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a prion disease in cows. There is evidence that BSE can spread to humans. This results in vCJD. It is also known as mad cow disease.
It is believed that vCJD is caused by proteins called prions. Prions are normal proteins in the body. These prions may fold up in a way that is not normal. This can change them into the protein that causes the illness. The buildup of these prions may be linked to vCJD.
Mackenzie G, Will R. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: recent developments. F1000res. 2017;6:2053.
Last reviewed December 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 1/25/2021
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