Prion diseases are a group of infectious brain diseases that causes extensive tissue damage, resulting in sponge-like spaces in brain tissue. Prions include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (often called mad cow disease), and chronic wasting disease in hoofed ruminant mammals.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease kills about 300 people in the US every year, and about 1 million worldwide. These rare, degenerative prion diseases of the brain are always fatal. Long periods of time elapses between infection and development of symptoms—sometimes as long as three decades… more


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