MCVEY - CJD'S YOUNGEST VICTIM
January 2000, Claire Mcvey became the youngest victim of Variant
CJD, the human form of BSE.
years after her daughter’s death, Claire’s mother Annie is still
struggling to get support and recognition for the forgotten victims
of CJD - the carers.
Out looks at the rise of Variant CJD, the symptoms and the support
available for those caring for or mourning the loss of loved ones
from the disease.
CJD is a form of transmissible dementia and
differs from other forms of CJD (see fact box on left).
has received a lot of media attention over recent years, but has
been around for much longer ..
- CJD is first recognised by two German neurologists Creuzfeldt
and Jakob, the namesakes of the disease.
is a rare disease with an estimated UK occurrence of 30-50 cases
number 133 on Stent farm Sussex becomes the first confirmed
victim of BSE the animal strain of CJD.
is first formally identified by the Central Veterinary Laboratory.
Government establishes the Southwood committee to look into
BSE. It concludes that BSE is probably spread in animal feed.
Medical Officer says beef is safe to eat.
case of BSE in Britain.
death from Variant CJD.
announces suspected link between BSE and the human equivalent
CJD . The EU announces worldwide export ban on all British beef.
public inquiry into the origin and spread of BSE and CJD opens
Mcvey, age 15, dies of Variant CJD.
deaths in Britain to date from definite Variant CJD . 22 deaths
from probable Variant CJD.
symptoms are diverse across patients, a number of similarities have
been found when sufferers’ brain were examined under a microscope.
to the Crentzfelt-Jakob Support Network, most had lost nerve cells
in the brain leading to a spongy appearance.
are many symptoms of Variant CJD, which can broadly be split into
Unsteadiness on feet
of uncontrollable jerky movements
stiffness of the limbs
The progressive loss of mental abilities
of awareness of surroundings
incubation period for the disease is years rather than weeks or
the symptoms get progressively worse over time.
to the Crentzfelt-Jakob Support Network, most people with CJD die
within six months.
in about 10 per cent of cases it can last between two and five years.
present, there is no known cure for CJD despite considerable, ongoing
are some medicines which make the last few weeks easier for sufferers.
Variant CJD disease is rare, victims and their families can feel
CJD Support Network was founded in 1994 by relatives of people suffering
from the disease. It aims to "provide
accurate information, practical and emotional support and
to promote good quality care of victims."
Support Network also runs a national helpline, providing information
on all forms of CJD.
is ongoing to tackle and treat the devastating effects of the disease,
which may provide some comfort to Annie Mcvey and the other relatives
Support Network helpline: