Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or CJD, is a progressive form of dementia. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, although, there have been suggestions that it may be caused by prions (small virus type particles) contracted from eating contaminated meat products.
This suggestion arose from the similarities between CJD and Bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE) or 'mad cows disease'.
In both BSE and CJD, the disease causes holes to form in the brain tissue giving a spongy appearance and leading to the dementia which rapidly progresses and eventually causes death within two years from the onset of the condition. Following government guidelines regarding the consumption of beef may prevent contraction of the disease.
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