Mad Cow Disease Evaluation
The evaluation of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease begins with a history and physical exam.
Physical findings in someone with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are usually normal.
An evaluation for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease includes:
- Neurological evaluation
- Psychiatric evaluation
Testing is required to make the diagnosis of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Tests that may be used to evaluate variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease include:
- CT scan of the brain
- MRI scan of the brain
- SPECT scan of the brain
- PET scanning of the brain:
- Can detect changes in brain metabolism and activity.
- Lumbar puncture
- Brain biopsy
Blood tests that may be used to evaluate variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease include:
- Amyloid beta 42
- Amyloid beta 42 is a protein that can be elevated in some individuals with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Amyloid beta is formed after the sequential cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP). Autosomal dominant mutations in APP can cause a hereditary form of Alzheimer's disease.
- N-acetyl aspartate
- Serum thiamine level
- Serum folate level
- Thyroid profile
- Electrolyte profile
- Serum iron level
For more information:
Continue to Mad Cow Disease Treatment
- Beisel CE, Morens DM: Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and the acquired and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Clin Infect Dis 2004 Mar 1; 38(5): 697-704. 
- Brown P: The risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy ('mad cow disease') to human health. JAMA 1997 Sep 24; 278(12): 1008-11. 
- Collinge J: Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Lancet 1999 Jul 24; 354(9175): 317-23. 
- Roma AA, Prayson RA. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: how safe is eating beef? Cleve Clin J Med. 2005 Mar;72(3):185-6, 189-90, 192-4. 
- Weihl CC, Roos RP. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, new variant creutzfeldt-jakob disease, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Neurol Clin. 1999 Nov;17(4):835-59.