Blood Test Could Help to Diagnose Deadly Mad Cow Disease

Blood Test Could Help to Diagnose Deadly Mad Cow DiseaseIt has been revealed through a report that a team of researchers in the UK has developed a test to diagnose the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which is a human form of the mad cow disease. The created test is being offered to Britons who are patients of the fatal vCJD.

Variant Creutzfeldt - Jakob disease (vCJD) or mad cow disease which triggers the brain to get riddled with holes, further leading to mental problems, improper functioning of body and eventually, death. The human equivalent of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is often known to affect cattle such as cows, but it can be seen in humans who consume beef products consisting of contaminated meat.

More than 150 vCJD cases have been found since 1990s, when it was first spotted in human beings, as per the information by the Health Protection Agency.

However, the NHS National Prion Clinic, which is a part of the University College London Hospitals Trust and the Medical Research Council's Prion Unit, has informed neurologists in the UK about the availability of the blood test that helps in detection of the evil disease. It told that the test created by it was much effective in finding out the number of people infected with the variant CJD. It would help them in targeting the risk management as well as ensuring safety of blood supply, say reports.

"It could also enable us to make an earlier diagnosis and as treatments become available it is going to be desperately important to get to patients early before there is extensive damage to the brain", added Prof. John Collinge, the leader of the MRC team.

Earlier, there was only a single way to diagnose the disease, i. e. through brain samples taken after the death of patients or with the aid of tonsil biopsies. But, the test introduced by them would help it to be diagnosed on a timely basis.