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Kuru disease

Kuru disease is the first human prion disease to be studied. It was once only found in indigenous tribes in the eastern highlands of Papua New Guinea, where there was a custom of eating organs of deceased relatives. Since this custom was abolished, there has been no new case. Kuru disease has a long incubation period, ranging from 4 to 30 years. The onset is hidden. Patients in the prodromal stage only feel headache and joint pain, followed by ataxia, tremor and involuntary movement. The latter includes chorea and myoclonus, and progressive dementia and neurological abnormalities appear in the late stage of the disease. Dementia after tremor and ataxia is the clinical feature of the disease. Most patients died within 3 ~ 6 months of onset.


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