First Dutch case of degenerative vCJD detected

21st April 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 April 2005AMSTERDAM — A patient in a Dutch hospital has been diagnosed with Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), the human form of Mad Cow Disease.

21 April 2005

AMSTERDAM — A patient in a Dutch hospital has been diagnosed with Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), the human form of Mad Cow Disease.

The Ministry of Health issued a statement on Thursday that said the patient is in the Mesos Medisch Centrum in Utrecht. The European CJD centre in Edinburgh has confirmed the diagnosis of vCJD after studying brain scans and the progress of the illness.

The statement did not give any personal details about the patient or report on the person's medical condition.

It did say the patient was not a donor or recipient of blood or human tissue donor and it appeared highly-likely that infection resulted from eating beef. "The illness is not transmissible from human-to-human," the ministry said.

This is the first time brain-wasting condition has been detected in the Netherlands and the ministry has alerted the EU authorities.

Medical opinion is divided on but many experts believe it is the human form of BSE, the brain-wasting condition that can strike cattle. BSE is commonly known as Mad Cow Disease.

Several distinctions are made between vCJD, which was first reported in 1996, and the more common sporadic CJD.

One widely-supported view is that vCJD results from from transmission of infection from BSE in cattle to humans via infected food. The average age of onset of vCJD is 27 compared to middle age or older for sporadic CJD, a factor that may support the food contamination theory.

Aside from six cases in France, one case each in Ireland, Italy and the US, variant CJD has been confined to the United Kingdom, according to the The National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit in the UK.

Sporadic CJD is the most common form of CJD, occurring on average in one in every million people, and is found all over the world. Although the causes of sporadic CJD are uncertain, one theory suggests that the normal prion protein in the brain undergoes a spontaneous change to the abnormal form, resulting in disease.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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