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Prevalence of Lethal Neurodegenerative Disease in Wild Deer Is on the Rise — What Eating Infected Meat Might Mean for Your Health

chronic wasting disease

Story at-a-glance -

  • Chronic wasting disease (CWD) and mad cow disease are two forms of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Both are lethal neurological diseases; mad cow affects cows while CWD affects deer, elk and moose
  • BSE is caused by toxic and infectious proteins known as prions. The human disease variant of mad cow is known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob
  • Researchers have discovered a compelling link between the protein TDP-43 — which behaves like the toxic prions causing BSE — and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's disease
  • CWD is now found in 16 percent of male animals tested in Colorado. One particularly hard-hit herd of deer in Boulder was found to have an infection rate of 40 percent
  • Hunters are urged to test all meat. If positive for CWD, do not consume it, and follow recommended reporting and disposal protocols to minimize the spread of the disease

By Dr. Mercola

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a lethal neurological disease. CWD is very similar to mad cow disease, another form of BSE, but whereas mad cow affects cattle, CWD affects deer, elk and moose. The human disease variant of mad cow is known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob.


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