Human Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs)
Healthcare providers are required to report all confirmed or suspected cases of human TSEs to the Minnesota Department of Health.The below list contains all identified human TSEs to date:
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare, 100% fatal, neurodegenerative brain disorder believed to be caused by abnormally folded proteins called prions. In most cases, CJD occurs sporadically, in persons with no known risk factors or inherited genetic mutations.
- Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD)
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare and fatal neurodegenerative brain disorder believed to be acquired through the consumption of beef products made from cattle infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), an animal prion disease commonly referred to as "mad cow” disease.
- Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Syndrome
Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome is an extremely rare and fatal neurodegenerative brain disorder found in only a few families worldwide. It is almost always inherited.
- Fatal Familial Insomnia
Fatal familial insomnia is an extremely rare genetic neurodegenerative brain disorder characterized by progressive insomnia. It has only been diagnosed in 25-40 families worldwide.
Kuru is a rare and fatal neurodegenerative brain disorder found among the Fore people of New Guinea. It was transmitted among members of the Fore tribe through ritualistic cannibalism, when the Fore people prepared and consumed infected tissue of deceased family members. Today kuru has nearly disappeared as a result of government discouragement of the practice of cannibalism.