California Probes Fatal Brain Disease Case

Health department says mad cow not to blame for death of 59-year-old Aline Shaw.
2:14 | 02/10/12

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Transcript for California Probes Fatal Brain Disease Case
She came -- and she presented us with this a -- dog died on January 27. The -- -- county department of health began looking into a possible connection with the rare form of -- Yucca disease known as CJ AD. But in a statement the county's public health officer said we have no evidence of any environmental or public health risk in Marin county. It appears Shaw still diet of CJ deep but not the variance kind which is extremely rare. They are two kinds of CJ Diaz explained to us by doctor Michael guess when WC SF. The variant form of CJT. Is linked to an animal form called bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Or BSE. Which is more commonly known as mad cow disease. In the sporadic form of the disease it's -- not linked to any animal diseases. The sporadic variety affects one in a million people there. Barry and CJD linked to mad cow disease killed about 175. People in the UK in the early ninety's. After eating tainted -- Both kinds of CJD Barry -- and sporadic are caused by a protein known as pretty on triggering severe dementia and death. Researchers at UCSF's small molecule discovery center continued to study how the protein affects the brain. The scientific community believes it would be nearly impossible for -- in the US to become infected. Richard -- Meyer the director of the California animal health and food safety lab at UC Davis talked to Los suns. We we got very certain -- regulations -- possible positive animals are you. States and countries. And -- had a very active T ban in place. For many years -- Sox transmission of the disease. -- was the executive director of lead up a nonprofit providing companionship for elderly people. -- for Carty is a volunteer. In our last conversation. She. Asked will lead -- right hand. That was just a few days before she wasn't able to speak anymore --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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