Mad Cow Disease

Also called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in cattle, Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans, Scrapie in sheep and goats, and Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and elk, and Transmissible Spngiform Encephalopathy for generalizing all animals affected, "Mad Cow Disease" is a slow, silent, but deadly disease that affects the central nervous system of humans and ruminant animals. It is caused by prions, or misfolded proteins, that is caused by either genetics or the consumption of animal-based proteins (especially ground-up brain and spinal tissue) from an infected animal that have accidentally entered the food chain. Feel free to ask or answer any questions related to Mad Cow Disease here.

585 Questions
Conditions and Diseases
Mad Cow Disease
Cattle Health

Can antibiotics treat mad cow disease?

Hmm. Good question. I believe the answer is no. Mad cow disease is not cause by bacteria, but by prions. Prions cannot be treated with antibiotics because they are proteins, not living cells. My knowledge of this is limited, If anyone has more information on this, please add it!

Comment: My understanding checks with yours. By the time bovine spongioform encephalitis (mad cow disease) manifests itself, it is already beyond any form of treatment.

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Conditions and Diseases
Mad Cow Disease

Can mad cow disease give you a stomach ache as the first symptom?

No.

Symptomology is entirely neurological. Makes it hard to spot and diagnose.

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Mad Cow Disease
Meat

Does meat which contains hormones and antibiotics cause Mad Cow Disease?

No. It is only if you ate the bone marrow, eyes, or brains/spinal column of an infected animal that you would very likely get CJD (human version of mad cow disease).

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Cows and Cattle
Goats and Sheep
Mad Cow Disease
Cattle Health

What are the incomplete viruses called that have been linked to certain diseases such as scrapie and mad cow?

Mad Cow Disease and Scrapie are NOT caused by incomplete viruses or any virus of any sort. They are caused by PRIONS, which are misfolded proteins much tinier than any virus, complete or not. If such disease were caused by viruses they would easily be cured by an antibiotic, but since they are not caused by bacteria or a virus, such vaccines cannot be made because there is nothing for such a vaccine to target.

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Conditions and Diseases
Biology
Mad Cow Disease

Is mad cow disease caused by E Coli?

No.

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Mad Cow Disease

Is mad cow disease a parasite?

No. "Mad Cow Disease" is a prion, or misfolded protein, not a parasite.

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Conditions and Diseases
Mad Cow Disease
Cattle Health

What has been linked to certain diseases such as scrapie and mad cow?

Prions, and the symptoms that occur when a sheep and cow get this disease: it affects their normal brain function, and they behave abnormally until they suddenly up and die.

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Health
Conditions and Diseases
Cows and Cattle
Mad Cow Disease
Cattle Health

What part of the body does mad cow disease effect?

The brain.

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Mad Cow Disease
Cattle Health

How can you get rid of mad cow disease?

Well, technically you can't completely get rid of BSE. But, you can prevent it by not eating the parts of a cow that are susceptible to housing prions of BSE, and by encouraging farmers to not feed animal by product of any kind to their ruminant animals (cattle, sheep and goats, primarily.)

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Conditions and Diseases
Cows and Cattle
Mad Cow Disease

What is the likely causative microorganism in mad cow disease?

Prions.

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Health
Conditions and Diseases
Biology
Mad Cow Disease

What causes madness?

There are many conditions that may cause madness. The expression "mad as a hatter" however, has a most interesting history, so I will recount it here ...

Mercury (Hg, number 80 on the periodic table of elements) was not found to be dangerous for many years after its discovery and was used in a wide variety of products such as thermometers and lamps. Many miners wore headlamps that contained mercury, and sometimes when these lamps broke, the mercury would seep into their scalp and cause insanity. Therefore, mercury is a very dangerous substance which may cause madness.

However, "madness" is not a medical term or diagnosis. There are many different types of mental illness.

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Cows and Cattle
Mad Cow Disease
Cattle Health

How does the virus of mad cow get its energy?

Mad Cow Disease or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy is NOT caused by a virus, it is a PRION, which is a mis-folded protein.

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Mad Cow Disease

What happens when a human gets mad cow disease?

That human dies a slow and painful death.

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Mad Cow Disease

What are the signs and symptoms of the Mad Cow Disease?

Mad Cow DiseaseBovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, the scientific name for mad cow disease in animals) or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD, the scientific name for mad cow disease in humans) is caused by a misfolded infectious protein called a prion. When this prion encounters the normal protein in the brain of an animal or human, it causes the normal protein to refold in the wrong configuration. As these proteins misfold, they are unable to be digested by the cellular enzymes so they collect within the cell until they cause the neuron to die. As the neurons die, clinical signs of neurologic problems develop. This disease has an incredibly long incubation period and may not show visible symptoms until between two and eight years after it was initially contracted. SymptomsIn both cattle and humans, Mad Cow Disease affects the brain and nervous system. Symptoms for humans and animals are listed below.
  • In animals:
    • Degredation of spinal tissues leaves an animal very aggressive, very nervous, and unsteady on its feet or uncoordinated.
  • In humans:
    • Mad cow disease symptoms are behavioral changes, gradual loss of coordination and locomotive function, and, in advanced stage, weight loss, inability to control fine and gross muscle actions (such as writing a letter or speaking) and abnormal gait.
Diagnosis and PrognosisBecause vCJD causes similar symptoms to CJD, which, in turn, causes similar symptoms to those found in dementia patients, it can be hard to diagnose. Generally though, the symptoms associated with any form of dementia progress much more slowly than those associated with vCJD or CJD. Since the disease is caused by an infectious protein and not a pathogen of any kind, there is no cure or treatment and the disease progresses until the infected person or animal dies.
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Cows and Cattle
Mad Cow Disease
Cattle Health

What negative impact does mad cow disease have on the economy?

You mean did. It certainly brought cattle prices down and the ability to export cattle and beef to other countries was hindered because they closed their borders to Canadian and American beef. Without being able to export over seas, less income comes in.

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Mad Cow Disease

How does the body fight mad cow disease?

It can't. Prions are so tiny and "insignificant" to the bodily cells and organisms that it is simply passed off as being a part of the whole thing. Mad Cow Disease is caused not by a foreign bacteria or virus, which is the reason why it cannot fight the disease, only surrender to it and die a slow, horrible, painful death.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Mad Cow Disease

I have 3 numb fingers on my left hand what does this mean?

It could mean several things..of course the most obviuos is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) if you mean your first 3 fingers and not your little finger. This is the area that the median nerve controls and when compressed or pinch can give you CTS. Usually symptoms are worse at night..and can be an ache, numbnees and tingling. Other things can mimic CTS like a pinched nerve in your neck..which can give you the same pattern of symptoms in the hand and Ulnar neuritis usually effects the last 2 fingers of your hand and is caused by an inflamation or injury to the ulnar nerve which goes through your elbow into your hand.

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Mad Cow Disease
Emotions

What does it mean if you cry when you laugh?

It means that something was so funny that you had to cry! I do this all the time it's normal.

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Conditions and Diseases
Biology
Mad Cow Disease

How is mad cow disease diagnosed?

There is no diagnostic for this disease it will always be fatal!

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Cows and Cattle
Mad Cow Disease
Cattle Health

Is mad cow disease a virus?

No, Mad Cow Disease is caused by a mutated protein that goes around transforming other healthy proteins into the malformed one. These newly misshapen proteins then go and deform more proteins. This cycle continues until there is so much damage that the body is no longer able to function. This disease targets the nervous system, it causes infected cows to react irrationally and impulsively hence: MAD COW disease.

This disease eventually kills the cow when there is not enough nervous system infrastructure left to maintain the cow's bodily functions. Because this disease is transferable to humans and because it is nearly undetectable due to its small size and because it has no cure due to the fact it is so hard to tell the healthy proteins from the malformed ones, mad cow disease is even more dangerous than a virus.

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Health
Cows and Cattle
Mad Cow Disease
Cattle Health

What are the sign and symptoms of mad cow disease?

First thing it does when it infects you is that it has a long incubation period that lasts for a few years before it shows any symptoms at all. Then when the incubation period is over it starts eating the brain causing ataxia early in the illness, dementia, and late in the illness is myoclonus; all the symptoms rapidly deteriorate the person that is infected.

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Health
Conditions and Diseases
Cows and Cattle
Mad Cow Disease

Could mad cow disease be blood borne?

For sure it can be and that is the reason why in UK leucocytes are removed from whole blood before preserving it for future transfusion.

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Mad Cow Disease

Was mad cows disease caused by fungus?

NO. Mad cow disease (more properly called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) is caused by a prion which is a mis-folded protein, not a fungus.

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Health
Conditions and Diseases
Cows and Cattle
Mad Cow Disease

What drugs are used to fight mad cow disease?

None. What these strange conditions–including fatal familial insomnia, kuru, scrapie, and mad
cow disease–share is their cause: prions. Prions are ordinary proteins that sometimes go wrong, resulting in neurological illnesses that are always fatal.


Even more mysterious and frightening, prions are almost impossible to destroy because they are not alive and have no DNA–and the diseases they bring are now spreading around the world.

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Veterinary Medicine
Mad Cow Disease

How can you treat mad cow disease?

You can't. Livestock that get BSE have to be put down. Humans who get CJD die slowly, even when hospitals and nurses try to provide as much care and comfort as they can.

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