Kuru-Like Neuropathological Changes in a North American

Dikran S. Horoupian, James M. Powers, Herbert H. Schaumburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Kuru is a fatal progressive disease of the central nervous system with clinical manifestations of ataxia, dementia, and myoclonus. So far, kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (C-J) are the only two forms of transmissible subacute spongiform viral encephalopathy known to affect humans. All of the reported cases of kuru have occurred in a restricted area of New Guinea, while Creutzfeldt-Jakob has had a wide distribution. We have examined postmortem tissue from a 54-year-old Jamaican woman with an 11-month progressive ataxic and dementing illness, clinically diagnosed as the ataxic form of C-J. Light and electron microscopic examination of the brain showed the distribution and changes described in kuru, including the presence of numerous PAS-positive kuru plaques in the cerebellum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-561
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1972

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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