Made Cow Disease Definition in Medical
Mad cow disease definition is a disorder of the brain caused by prion infection (abnormal protein in livestock). Prions are found in many parts of the body of livestock, such as in the brain, eyes, and spinal cord. If it has attacked the brain, prions will develop and damage the nervous system.
In the medical world, mad cow disease in farm animals is known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). While in humans, the disease is known as the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), and is commonly found in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a severe brain disorder that can cause a fatal impact, even to death. Symptoms of this disease are generally similar to symptoms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other brain disorders, but this infection is more aggressive and worsens in a short time.
Mad cow disease is relatively rare and rarely found. According to the study, the disease affects one in a million people a year and is commonly found in adults.
- In general there are four types of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), namely:
- Sporadic CJD. It is the most common type of mad cow disease.
- The disorder arises as a brain protein changes into an abnormal protein, called a prion. The cause is not known with certainty. Most of these types of diseases occur in adults aged 45-75 years. The symptoms begin to develop at the age of 60-65 years.
- Variant CJD (vCJD). It is caused by the consumption of livestock which is positively infected with mad cow disease and contains prions. Incubation period of this mad cow disease is very long, can be more than 10 years.
- Familial CJD. It is the most rare type of mad cow disease. A person suffers from this disorder because it is inherited in the family. This type attacks every one of nine million people in the world.
- Iatrogenic CJD. It is transmitted accidentally through medical procedures such as medication and surgery. A number of medical devices that are not sterilized can be a medium of transmission of mad cow disease.
Symptoms of Made Cow Disease in Humans
Most people with mad cow disease die within a year since the first symptoms appear. Generally, mad cow disease is characterized by the appearance of some of the following symptoms:
- Disorders of memory and other brain functions.
- Change of personality.
- Balance disorders.
- Speech is unclear and vision is impaired.
- Experiencing psychological disorders such as anxiety depression.
- Some parts of the body are tingling and difficult to move.
- Experiencing insomnia, dementia, and may progress to a coma.
If not treated properly, mad cow disease can cause complications in the brain. If that happens, one will have difficulty thinking, remembering, alienating from friends and family, and generally being unconcerned about oneself. The most severe, this disease can cause death.
The Cause of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
Until now it is not known what causes the change of normal protein into prion protein, which can occur in the brain, small intestine, or spinal cord of farm animals. This disease can be transmitted from animal to animal or even to human.
Mad cow disease is contagious when an infected animal is slaughtered, then the body parts of the infected animal are used for animal feed or human consumption. In other words, a person is at risk of contracting mad cow disease if they eat parts of the brain and spine from an infected animal.
Although no known cause, genetic and age factors are believed to increase the risk of mad cow disease. A person with familial CJD can lower this condition to his offspring. In terms of age, people over the age of 60 are more susceptible to sporadic CJD.
Diagnosis of Made Cow Disease in Humans
Allegations against mad cow disease are determined based on the development of symptoms and medical history of the patient. The only way to know for sure whether a person has mad cow disease is by brain biopsy through an autopsy, which is done if the patient has died.
However, there are various diagnostic procedures that can help diagnose the disease, including:
- Neurological examination. In the early stages, the neurologist (neurologist) will examine the possibility of other diseases that have similar symptoms, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or brain tumors.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG). To record brain activity and help detect abnormal electrical activity in sporadic CJD patients.
- Scan with MRI. Using radio waves and magnetic fields to get a detailed picture of the patient’s brain condition.
- Lumbar puncture. Intake of fluid samples from the patient’s spinal area for further investigation.
- Genetic examination. Blood tests are performed to detect the potential for mutations in genes and to ensure genetic factors.
- Tummy biopsy. Sampling of the tonsil tissue to see the possibility of prions in the tonsils of variant CJD sufferers.
Treatment of Made Cow Disease in Humans
There is no specific treatment that proves effective to overcome mad cow disease. A number of drugs have been studied, but there is no real impact in the treatment of this disease. Treatment with antiviral and antibiotics did not provide a positive effect on the patient’s condition.
Treatment that can be given is medication or medical action to relieve symptoms that appear in the patient. For example, the administration of antidepressants to relieve psychological disorders or provide clonazepam and sodium valproate to relieve muscle cramps.
Prevention of Made Cow Disease in Humans
Mad cow disease often occurs spontaneously, making it difficult to prevent. Sterilization to prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading throughout the body is also ineffective. Even so, there are several efforts that can be done to reduce the risk of mad cow disease transmission, including:
- Destroy the source of infection. One way to minimize the transmission of mad cow disease is to destroy the carcasses that potentially transmit the disease, either to humans or other animals.
- Blood transfusion safely. People at risk of contracting mad cow disease are prohibited from donating blood to reduce the risk of transmission.
- Limiting imported meat. Especially imported meat from countries prone to mad cow disease, such as England, Scotland, and Ireland.
- Supervision of livestock. This is done from the control of animal feed, sick animal treatment, to limiting the consumption of livestock at risk of transmitting mad cow disease.