any degenerative disease of the brain.
bovine spongiform encephalopathy
a prion disease
of adult cattle in the British Isles with neurologic symptoms. It is transmitted by feed containing protein in the form of meat and bone meal derived from infected animals. The etiologic agent is also the cause of new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
. Called also mad cow disease
(boxer's traumatic encephalopathy
) a syndrome due to cumulative head blows absorbed in the boxing ring, characterized by slowing of mental function, occasional bouts of confusion, and scattered memory loss. It may progress to the more serious boxer's dementia
. See also postconcussional syndrome
a degenerative disease of the brain associated with longterm use of hemodialysis
, marked by speech disorders and constant myoclonic jerks, progressing to global dementia.
hepatic encephalopathy a condition, usually occurring secondary to advanced liver disease, marked by disturbances of consciousness that may progress to deep coma (hepatic coma), psychiatric changes of varying degree, flapping tremor, and fetor hepaticus.
) a progressive primary encephalopathy caused by infection with human immunodeficiency virus
type I, manifested by a variety of cognitive, motor, and behavioral abnormalities. Called also AIDS encephalopathy
hypernatremic encephalopathy a severe hemorrhagic encephalopathy induced by the hyperosmolarity accompanying hypernatremia and dehydration.
hypertensive encephalopathy a complex of cerebral phenomena such as headache, convulsions, and coma that occur in the course of malignant hypertension.
encephalopathy caused by hypoxia from either decreased rate of blood flow or decreased oxygen content of arterial blood; mild cases cause temporary intellectual, visual, and motor disturbances, and severe cases can cause permanent brain damage within five minutes. Called also anoxic encephalopathy
subacute spongiform encephalopathy
(transmissible spongiform encephalopathy
) prion disease
a neurological disorder characterized by confusion, apathy, drowsiness, ataxia of gait, nystagmus, and ophthalmoplegia; it is due to thiamine deficiency, usually from chronic alcohol abuse. It is almost invariably accompanied by or followed by korsakoff's syndrome
and frequently accompanied by other nutritional polyneuropathies. See also wernicke-korsakoff syndrome
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
bo·vine spon·gi·form en·ceph·a·lop·a·thy (BSE),
a disease of cattle first reported in 1986 in Great Britain; characterized clinically by apprehensive behavior, hyperesthesia, and ataxia, and histologically by spongiform changes in the gray matter of the brain stem; caused by a prion, like spongiform encephalopathies of other animals (for example, scrapie) and human beings (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease [vCJD]).
In the middle 1990s, an unusual number of cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) were reported in people under 30 years of age in Great Britain. These patients displayed typical clinical features but not the EEG changes characteristic of CJD, and autopsy specimens showed unusual amyloid plaques resembling those of kuru but not previously observed in CJD. This so-called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) has been traced to consumption of beef products contaminated by central nervous system tissues of a cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease). An epizootic of this disease killed more than 150,000 cattle in Britain between 1986 and 1996. Since July 1989 the importation of cattle and cattle products from the U.K. has been banned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The discovery late in 2003 of a single dairy cow infected with BSE in Washington state prompted a revision of screening procedures in the U.S. and a tightening of restrictions on the use of meat products as human food. WHO consultants have condemned the practice of feeding ruminant-derived meat-and-bone meal to cattle and urged the adoption of measures to ensure that no part of any animal that shows signs of a spongiform encephalopathy enters any human or animal food chain. Milk, dairy products, gelatin, and lard are considered safe. see also Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
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