LABORATOIRE ESCOUROLLE / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LABORATOIRE ESCOUROLLE / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Light micrograph of a section through human brain showing Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease. At centre is brown plaque formed from protein; plaque is produced by a virus-like prion that causes this disease. Nuclei (purple) of nerve cells are visible. Apart from these plaque lesions, vacuole spaces (not seen) form in the brain. As Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease progresses, brain tissue becomes spongy and nerve cells are destroyed. Human symptoms include dementia and sudden muscle contractions, leading to death. There is concern that eating beef from "mad cows" may cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.
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