|mad cow disease|
|an informal name for BSE|
mad cow disease n.
See bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
|mad cow disease (mād) Pronunciation Key
A degenerative neurologic disease of cattle, thought to be caused by infection-causing agents called prions, in which brain tissues deteriorate and take on a spongy appearance, resulting in abnormal behaviors and loss of muscle control. A variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is transmitted to humans through the eating of infected cattle tissue. Also called bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
A lethal disease that originates in cows and can spread to humans through consumption of affected neural tissue. It is called Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease in humans. It causes the brain to deteriorate through the instrument of an infectious protein called a prion.