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Psychological Complaints: Mad Cow Disease and Spinal Cord Injury

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posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 09:06 AM
The medical 'abstract' below describes a case of 'Mad Cow' disease (TSE) wrongly diagnosed as a "spinal cord injury."

"Prion diseases like Mad Cow are hard to diagnose because they do not show up on any standard medical tests. As a result, doctors and victims' families often conclude that the problem is 'psychological.' As this medical report states, "...the patient's complaints were thought to have a large psychologic component."

Prion diseases are caused by infectious proteins called prions. Prions spread through the body slowly, one protein, then one cell and tissue at a time. Eventually, whole organs may be infected as well as other body parts, the nervous systems, hormones and the immune system. The infection often takes decades to move through the body and get to the brain: "The incubation period of iatrogenic TSE ranges from 15 months to 30 years... "

Mad Cow disease and other prion-related diseases are epidemic, contrary to what the 'damage-control' spin says. Most people are infected with one strain or another. The question is not IF you have a prion disease, but where it will come out in your body, and what symptoms you will have. Prion diseases are hard to recognize because they don't have a common course of progression. As this report says, "...clinical presentations may be atypical." Almost every case is different.

Prion diseases are spread in several ways. They can be congenital, called "familial" or "inherited," and sometimes result in birth defects but not all the time. Prion diseases can be "acquired," meaning caught through contaminated food or water for example. "Iatrogenic transmission" means "infections acquired by the patient during the course of treatment," for example, spread through medicine, blood or tissues products or medical procedures. In this case, the patient likely was infected through growth hormone injections."

(c) Lanie Patrick, 2005. Open Access Terms.

Progressive neurodegenerative disease in presumed spinal cord injury:
Case report of a patient with prion disease.

BACKGROUND: Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are neurodegenerative syndromes caused by proteinaceous infectious particles (or "prions"), are fatally progressive, and affect humans and animals. Human prion disease may be familial, sporadic, or due to iatrogenic causes. The signs and symptoms include dementia, ataxia, myoclonus, dysautonomia, pyramidal and extrapyramidal tract signs, and akinesia. The incubation period of iatrogenic TSE ranges from 15 months to 30 years, and clinical presentations may be atypical. DESIGN: Case report. FINDINGS: This article presents the case study of a 39-year-old man who fell at work and subsequently complained of subjective lower extremity weakness, followed by onset of ataxia, bowel and bladder incontinence, and progressive decline in ambulation over 6 months. In the absence of a unifying diagnosis, the patient was presumed to have had a spinal cord injury (SCI). Because neuro-axis imaging studies failed to explain his symptoms, the patient's complaints were thought to have a large psychologic component. The patient then developed neurologic abnormalities proximal to the presumed SCI. Somatosensory evoked potentials were suggestive of a thoracic or lumbar cord myelopathy and cerebrospinal fluid analysis was suggestive of prion disease. Family members eventually revealed that the patient had had injections of growth hormones derived from cadaveric human pituitary glands as a child. Postmortem brain examination later revealed definitive Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

J Spinal Cord Med. 2003 Fall;26(3):259-61. Grant D, Loomis S. Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA. PMID: 14997969


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