Advertisement

Mad cow disease is one of the most dangerous diseases out there. This disease doesn't occur in humans. Instead, people can contract a human-form of the disease. It's known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or CJD, and it's equally fatal. You can get this disease if you happen to consume any nerve tissue of infected cattle. These tissues include the brain and the spinal cord, as these are the parts targeted by mad cow disease. As time goes by, the disease will also start destroying your brain and your spinal cord.



There have been many studies about mad cow disease. However, there isn't any proof that you can get this disease from eating different parts of cattle. That is unless you consume the spinal cord and brain. Also, you won't get it by drinking milk or consuming milk-products from cattle. The human-form disease cannot spread merely through casual contact. However, exchange of fluids such as blood may infect other people. Until now, experts still aren't sure what causes this disease. The theory states that the disease comes from prions, which are infectious proteins. Cows infected with this disease have prions in their bodies. It's in their brains, their spinal cords, and even in their small intestines. But there is no proof that this protein also occurs in other muscle meat.

Advertisement

Unusually persistent sensations in the face, hands, legs, and feet

People affected by mad cow disease may start feeling unusual sensations. These include prickling or tingling feelings in the face, hands, legs, and feet. As the disease progresses, the sensations on these body parts may even transform. They turn into a burning sensation. These unusually but persistent sensations may not even stay in those few body parts. If left unchecked, you might start feeling pins and needles in different parts of your body. Either that or your body parts may start feeling numb because of the disease.

what does mad cow disease do
Advertisement

Personality changes or psychotic behavior

This disease is very dangerous. If it isn't diagnosed in time, psychological symptoms may start to manifest. The disease may affect a person's emotions or behavior. You'll notice these changes first when a person develops this disease. People with mad cow disease may start feeling irritable, agitated, and aggressive. Insomnia is also a sign of this disease, along with a loss of appetite. Because of these symptoms, you'll notice that the person is losing weight significantly. Other symptoms of this disease are paranoia and strange emotional responses to situations.

behavior mad cow disease
Advertisement

General memory loss or even dementia

Another common symptom of mad cow disease is general memory loss. You may notice that a person is having a hard time remembering things. This is an indication that something more serious is happening. As the disease progresses, a person might even develop dementia. This is a degenerative disease which can get worse for weeks and months go by. The main characteristic of this symptom is the loss of a person's brain functions. This means that it will affect cognition, judgment, memory, behavior, and even language. If a person experiences this symptom, this means that the disease is already in the later stages.

dementia mad cow disease
Advertisement

Mobility issues

Mad cow disease also comes with symptoms which manifest as mobility issues. You may start feeling that you're having a hard time moving different parts of your body. As the disease progresses, it might even affect your ability to walk. You'll start to notice abnormalities in your walking patterns. You may also find it hard to control walking. Mobility issues also come with twitching and stiffness of the muscles. Aside from these, you may feel involuntary and jerky movements of your body parts.

mobility mad cow disease
Advertisement

Depression

Depression is another symptom of mad cow disease. People who have this illness may start having strong feelings of anguish and despair. Anxiety and depression usually occur together. People with mad cow disease may feel both. As the disease progresses, so would the depression. If left untreated, it may even lead to severe depression. If you notice that someone is starting to seem depressed, this may be an indication of the disease. As time goes by, the person who has the disease might start withdrawing from the world. Because of the depression, the person may shy away from everyone around him.

do i have mad cow disease
Advertisement

Speech impairment

Another devastating symptom of this disease is speech impairment. You may notice that a person will start having trouble speaking. This symptom comes out because the disease affects the brain. Aside from having trouble speaking, an affected person might have slurred speech. This means that you won't be able to understand what the person is saying. When the disease becomes more serious, the speech impairment may become worse too.

risks of mad cow disease
Advertisement

Balance and coordination issues

It's important always to try to notice any changes in your body. Even if chances seem insignificant, they may point to something more serious. This symptom is a good example of keeping track of changes in your body. Balance and coordination issues may not happen suddenly. You might start noticing that you are stumbling more frequently or falling a lot. You may dismiss such symptoms as being clumsy or just feeling a bit disoriented. But when it happens a lot, it may be a sign of mad cow disease. If you're normally good on your feet and you start to develop these issues, have yourself checked.

balance mad cow disease
Advertisement

Hallucinations, disorientation, and confusion

This is another dangerous symptom of mad cow disease. You might start experiencing hallucinations, disorientation, and confusion. When you're confused, it means that you cannot think as quickly or as clearly as you normally can. When you're disoriented, you aren't able to pay attention well. Aside from this, you have trouble making decisions and remembering things. Depending on the severity of the disease, these symptoms may appear quickly or slowly. When the disease has become more severe, you might start experiencing hallucinations. When this happens, you see things which aren't really there. If still left undiagnosed and untreated, it may progress to psychosis. This is a serious disorder which affects a person's behavior and mental capacity. People who have this don't know what's real and what's not.

what is mad cow disease
Advertisement

Brain abnormalities

Mad cow disease may also come with different brain abnormalities. These brain abnormalities cause most of the other symptoms. You can only find out if you have this symptom if you have yourself checked. There's no way to see brain abnormalities for yourself physically. Instead, when you start experiencing the other symptoms, consult with a doctor immediately. They may be an indication that you have mad cow disease.

brains mad cow disease
Advertisement

Comatose

Finally, another symptom of mad cow disease is a person going into a coma. This means that the person is unconscious for an indefinite time. A person in a coma doesn't respond to the environment. The person is clinically alive but is unconscious and unresponsive. The person looks like he's asleep, but you cannot wake him up. People afflicted with severe mad cow disease will eventually become bedridden. This means that the disease is already in its last stages. These people are already unaware of what's happening around them. Also, they would need constant care.

coma mad cow disease

Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.