UK & World News
CJD: Call For Widespread Test To Detect Disease
MPS have launched an inquiry to check the safety of donor blood after hearing new evidence on the human form of mad cow disease.
The Commons Science and Technology Committee was responding to a study that revealed one in every 2,000 people in the UK could be carrying variant CJD.
Christine Lord's son Andrew died from the disease which causes degenerative brain disorder.
She told Sky News: "Every single minute of the day there was relentless pain and memory loss. He was unable to move, unable to walk and unable to talk. Then he would get light bulb moments where he would ask what was happening.
"The public think it's gone away but it hasn't. Andrew could be any mum's son and unfortunately there will be more Andrews."
Variant CJD is thought to be caused by prion proteins in the brain.
These infectious agents can clump together and destroy cells which causes holes in brain tissue.
How many people in the UK carry these prions is unclear, but the latest study in the British Medical Journal estimates it could be as many as one in every 2,000.
At the moment donor blood isn't tested for the disease.
Dr Simon Mead, from University College London, told Sky News: "What we fell would be right is to move towards a way to screen people who are silent carriers from blood donation and to identify them prior to organ donation for example. That way the infection wouldn't be spread further."
The Department of Health says it is supporting studies into how widespread vCJD is. It points out there has only been one case in the last three years.
But Mrs Lord believes more testing is needed.
"When Andrew was ill with vCJD and started to get very ill he said mum find out why I've become so ill and make sure no one else ever gets this," she said.
"He died in my arms and I buried him three days before Christmas in the cathedral where I used to watch his nativity plays. No mother should have to go through that."
According to data released by the Health Protection Agency, 177 people in the UK have died from vCJD after eating contaminated beef.
Cases have tailed off in recent years with none reported last year and only one so far in 2013.
But previous studies have found that many others are harbouring the infection without developing clinical symptoms.