شبح مرض جنون البقر

يعلن المتفائلون أن النسخة المتغيرة من مرض كروتزفيلد_جاكوب (CJD)، أو الشكل البشري ـ القاتل في كل الأحوال ـ من المرض المخي الأسفنجي البقري (BSE)، أو "مرض جنون البقر"، في طريقه إلى الانحسار. من المؤكد، نظراً لما أوقعه هذا المرض من انزعاج ورهبة في نفوس عامة الناس، أن تكون الأنباء الواردة باحتمالات تراجعه موضعاً للترحيب. ولكن أهي أنباء صادقة؟

ينتمي مرض كروتزفيلد_جاكوب (CJD) إلى عائلة من الأمراض يطلق عليها "الأمراض البريونية"، وهي تشكل مجموعة فريدة من أمراض تحلل الجهاز العصبي التي تنتقل بالعدوى. وعلى الرغم من أن الطبيعة المحددة لانتقال المرض ما زالت غير مؤكدة، إلا أن الحدث الرئيسي في هذا النوع من الخلل، والذي يتلخص في تحول الخلية السوية لبروتين البريون إلى هيئة غير سوية، يبدو أنه العنصر الأساسي (إن لم يكن الوحيد) في انتقال العدوى.

تم وصف مرض كروتزفيلد_جاكوب (CJD) لأول مرة في عام 1996، بعد أنشطة مراقبة مكثفة قامت بها الوحدة الوطنية لمراقبة مرض كروتزفيلد_جاكوب (CJD) في إدنبيرج بالمملكة المتحدة. ويتسم هذا الشكل الجديد من المرض البريوني بمظاهر سريرية وباثولوجية مميزة، ويصيب المرضى من الشباب المنتمين إلى مجموعة وراثية فرعية واحدة.

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