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Man is diagnosed with extremely rare human form of Mad Cow Disease

LBANON, Tenn. – A disease affecting one in a million people has changed the life of a Tennessee family forever, WTVF reports. A year ago, a doctor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center diagnosed a Lebanese father with Creutzfeldt- Danielle Gibson said she knew something was wrong when her husband Tony began to act strangely and became very forgetful. "I had to notice the rooms in our house," said Danielle. "He would get lost in the supermarket and someone would call me and say," We have your husband. "" Danielle took Tony to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center where after a month of tests, a neurologist diagnosed 32-year-old with CJD. Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt, said that CJD is a rare heart disease that usually affects about 300 people in the United States each year. He did not diagnose Tony Gibson, but generally said that patients could be worried, depressed, confused, recalled and unable to complete basic tasks. "This is a very tragic disease where there is no treatment," said Schaffner. "Patients drop to withdrawal and eventually a semi-comatose state." Danielle said the doctors initially gave Tony a year to live. He still lives, but requires 24-hour care at a nursing home in Hendersonville. "This is the most devastating thing I have ever seen," said Danielle. "I have seen many terrible things. I have seen ALS, but it must be the worst." Creutzfeldt-Jakob's disease foundations report that there are several types of CJD that can be obtained…

LBANON, Tenn. – A disease affecting one in a million people has changed the life of a Tennessee family forever, WTVF reports.

A year ago, a doctor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center diagnosed a Lebanese father with Creutzfeldt-

Danielle Gibson said she knew something was wrong when her husband Tony began to act strangely and became very forgetful.

“I had to notice the rooms in our house,” said Danielle. “He would get lost in the supermarket and someone would call me and say,” We have your husband. “”

Danielle took Tony to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center where after a month of tests, a neurologist diagnosed 32-year-old with CJD.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt, said that CJD is a rare heart disease that usually affects about 300 people in the United States each year. He did not diagnose Tony Gibson, but generally said that patients could be worried, depressed, confused, recalled and unable to complete basic tasks.

“This is a very tragic disease where there is no treatment,” said Schaffner. “Patients drop to withdrawal and eventually a semi-comatose state.”

Danielle said the doctors initially gave Tony a year to live. He still lives, but requires 24-hour care at a nursing home in Hendersonville.

“This is the most devastating thing I have ever seen,” said Danielle. “I have seen many terrible things. I have seen ALS, but it must be the worst.”

Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s disease foundations report that there are several types of CJD that can be obtained sporadically, genetically or after exposure to infected human tissue under a medical procedure. Those diseases can not be transmitted by coughing or sneezing or sexual contact.

Danielle said she does not know how Tony got CJD. Doctors told her that it was rare that he was diagnosed at such a young age.

She hoped that his story would help educate others about the disease.

“People need to know about it and what symptoms to look for,” said Danielle. “We need funding for this.”

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