Rise in 'human form of mad cow disease'

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The Independent Online
THE NUMBER of people with a degenerative brain disease similar to mad cow disease increased by 50 per cent between 1991 and the end of April 1993, according to figures released yesterday, writes Liz Hunt.

However, government scientists said the rise in Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), which causes sponge-like holes in the brain, is due to greater awareness. CJD is often described as the 'human form of mad cow disease', bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). There has been concern that the agent which causes BSE could enter the food chain in meat or milk. To date there is no evidence to support this theory.

Scientists at the National CJD Surveillance Unit reported 32 cases between May 1990 and April 1991; for 1991-92 the figure was 37; and 48 by the end of April this year.