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February 2011

New hope for a blood test for vCJD

British scientists have succeeded in developing a blood test for variant CJD (vCJD), the fatal neurodegenerative disease believed to have originated from cows.  This is a major breakthrough as currently patients with suspected vCJD have to undergo a series of tests, including brain biopsy, to confirm diagnosis.
The new test, reported in today’s Lancet, developed by a team at the Medical Research Council’s Prion Unit working with the NHS National Prion Clinic in London, offers the possibility of earlier diagnosis for patients with vCJD and for screening donor blood.