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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: To the best of our knowledge, there is no test for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease that does not require a tonsil or appendix sample to be in good condition to give a meaningful result.
Some samples in the retrospective studies on tonsil and appendixes were unsuitable for analysis because they were found by scientists to be damaged, or otherwise of insufficient quality to enable analysis to be carried out. At the time the samples were taken, during routine surgery, there had been no intention of subjecting them to further analysis.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: No. Whilst tonsil biopsy or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, taken with other criteria, can enable clinicians to determine with reasonable confidence whether or not an individual showing clinical symptoms of the disease is suffering from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), there is still no test available to detect those who may be infected with vCJD but have no symptoms.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: There are significant logistical and ethical difficulties associated with the design of any studies of this type. Any proposal for such a study received by the Department of Health would need to undergo rigorous peer-review and ethical approval in line with procedures established for other similar studies.
The protocol for detecting abnormal prion protein in tonsil and appendix tissues requires the presence of sufficient lymphoid tissue in the sample. Results will not be obtainable from samples where there is insufficient lymphoid tissue present or the tissue has been so badly damaged that it is unsuitable for prion protein detection.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit (NCJDSU) is aware of one child of a variant CJD patient with neurological symptoms. The NCJDSU is not aware of any suspect cases of vCJD in a family member of a vCJD patient.
What are (to the nearest month) the date of onset, duration of illness and age at death of the five nvCJD cases in the Leicestershire cluster; and [HL3445]
What are (to the nearest month) the date of onset and the current age of victims of nvCJD who are still living.[HL3448]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The date of onset, duration of illness and age at death, or current age if the patient is still alive, for all definite and probable variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease patients known to the National CJD Surveillance Unit on 20 July 2000 are set out in the table.
|Date of Onset||Duration (months)||Age (Years) at Death||Current Age (Years) if Alive|
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