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an encephalopathy characterized by vacuolation within nerve and glial cells.
Any of a group of degenerative diseases of the brain characterized by the progressive formation of vacuoles in the cells of the cerebral cortex.
spon·gi·form en·ceph·a·lop·a·thy(spŏn'ji-fōrm en-sef'a-lop'ă-thē)
An encephalopathy characterized by vacuolation within nerve and glial cells.
spongiform encephalopathyOne of a number of diseases of the nervous system featuring spongy degeneration of the grey matter of the brain, loss of nerve cells and overgrowth of the brain connective tissue cells (astrocytes). The effects are severe loss of function and death. These diseases are associated with an abnormal cellular inclusion called a prion and which can be diagnosed by locating specific defects within the prion gene. See also CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB DISEASE and KURU.
resembling a sponge.
a disease of the brain having the microscopic appearance of a sponge. The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) of animals and humans are Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans and its variant, Gertstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease in humans, kuru, fatal familial insomnia of humans, scrapie in sheep, goats and moufflon, transmissible encephalopathy of mink, chronic wasting disease of deer and elk, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), TSE of zoo ungulates, and feline spongiform encephalopathy. See also bovine spongiform encephalopathy, feline spongiform encephalopathy.