a fatal degenerative disease of the central nervous system characterized by progressive lack of coordination and dementia, known only among certain Melanesian peoples, especially the Fore of New Guinea, and caused by a slow virus: now virtually extinct.
Origin: 1955–60; < a dialect of Fore, a language of the Eastern Highlands District
kuru ku·ru (kur'ōō) n. A progressive, fatal spongiform encephalopathy, probably caused by a slow-acting virus, that is endemic to certain peoples of New Guinea and may be transmitted through cannibalism.
kuru (kr') Pronunciation Key
A rare, progressive, degenerative neurological disease found in certain peoples of New Guinea and associated with cannibalism. It is thought to be caused by a prion and results in a fatal encephalopathy. See Note at prion.