Advocacy Group Seeks Ban on Cadaver Brain Tissue Use

WASHINGTON, DC-The Public Citizen Health Research Group is asking officials from the Food and Drug Administration to prevent physicians from using cadaver brain tissue in surgeries. They argue this practice is responsible for transmitting the genetic form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).

Reportedly more than 114 people have died from CJD after having brain surgery that included the transplantation of some cadaver brain tissue. Infected tissue can spread the disease, which causes proteins to reproduce into misshapen, folded cells, known as prions.

Public Citizen says there are other options available to physicians. The FDA recommended that neurologists avoid using human dura matter in 1999. They also created a list of rules to follow when preparing such tissue for surgery. The World Health Organization has also strongly recommended against the practice.

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