A blood test for variant CJD has been developed by British scientists.
Currently patients suspected of having the human form of BSE have to undergo a series of tests, including a brain biopsy, to confirm a diagnosis.
The new test, reported in The Lancet, offers the chance of earlier diagnosis and potentially the ability to screen donor blood.
But further studies are needed before it can be widely used to screen healthy people who may be silent carriers.
Variant CJD or vCJD is the human form of BSE - "mad cow" disease. It affects the brain and is believed to have passed from cattle to humans through infected food.
via BBC News - Blood test for vCJD 'could identify carriers'.