Eating Squirrel Brains Can lead To Death

Researchers are saying that the death of a man from New York was due to an extremely rare neurological disease that came about from eating squirrel brains.

In 2015, the man in question was brought to a hospital with having difficulty walking and impractical thinking skills. After conducting a brain scan, doctors were able to note similarities with the man and those suffering from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Sadly, vCJD is a rare degenerative neurological condition in which proteins by the name of prion infect the brain. There is evidence that same thing responsible for the prion outbreaks that cause mad cow disease is the same responsible for vCJD in humans.

According to Dr. Tara Chen of Rochester Regional Health, the man from New York was a hunter and was eating squirrel brains or meat that was contaminated by brain material. She is the lead author on the case. The possible risk factors in his case were the intake of squirrel brains.

The man was dead five months after his diagnosis of vCJD. Researchers are hoping they receive permission to test his brain tissue. However, doing so will help to determine which variation of the disease he had.

Eating Squirrel Brains May  Be The Case Of Death To One New York Man

In some regions of the U.S., squirrel brains and meat are a delicacy. Many hunters around the nation find joy in eating the meat from these animals.

There have only been 260 cases of vCJD worldwide with a link to eating beef. None of these cases come from the US. The reports come from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Most of the cases were from the UK.

There are other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, such as mad cow disease, which many find in animals. There is mink encephalopathy, feline encephalopathy, and scrapie. Scrapie tends to affect sheep and goats.