Table 1

Prion diseases

Animal diseasesNotesHuman diseasesNotes
ScrapieNaturally occurring disease of sheep and goatsKuruConfined to Papua New Guinea
Related to cannibalistic mourning rituals
TMETransmissible mink encephalopathy, a disease of farmed minkCJDThe most common human prion disease. First described in 1921
Exists in four forms:
 Variant (described 1996)
CWDChronic wasting disease of deer, confined to North AmericaGSSGerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, a rare autosomal dominant hereditary disease
BSEBovine spongiform encephalopathy, disease of cattle first reported 1987FFIFatal familial insomnia, a rare autosomal dominant hereditary disease
BSE related diseasesTransmission of BSE to cats (FSE) and other animals