October 7, 2015
font size

Definition of Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy: One of a number of progressive neurodegenerative disorders in animals and humans caused by similar uncharacterized agents that produce spongiform changes in the brain.

Specific examples of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies include:

  • In animals:
    • scrapie, which affects sheep and goats;
    • bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also called mad cow disease, which affects cattle;
    • transmissible mink encephalopathy;
    • feline spongiform encephalopathy;
    • chronic wasting disease (CWD) of mule deer, white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, and elk.
  • In humans:
    • kuru;
    • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease;
    • Gerstmann-Straussler syndrome;
    • fatal familial insomnia;
    • variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

WebMD Daily

Get breaking medical news.

Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations