Transmissible Spongiform Encepalitis (TSEB34)
Also known as Sudden Prion Disease and Reaver's Disease.
This disease appears much like the TSEs and Prion diseases found throughout history with significant differences. It affects the brains of those infected causing a variety of symptoms from headaces, nausea, dizziness to madness, stupor, coma and eventual death. The disease has a rapid onset time far faster than normal prion diseases. That plus the combination of paranoia and violent behavior in the later stages caused some to speculate that this was something like what caused the Reavers. This has been thoroughly disproved.
The initial symptoms appear to be headaches, irritability, and mild confusion. In the middle stages this turns to dizziness (and/or blindness), memory loss, schizophrenia or other mental symptoms (eg. paranoia), during this time the patient may complain of stroke like symptoms (loss of function, nervous disorders, heart palpitations). In it's last stages it can lead to stupor and coma for some patients or an uncontrollable rage which tends to result in homicidal or suicidal tendencies, usually resulting in the death of the patient (no known survivors at this stage).
Brain, spinal, or glandular biopsies can reveal the presence of prions.
There is no known cure for TSEB34, cures for Terrestrial Prion diseases have only limited benefit, and in some cases may actually accelerate the progress of the disease. Current medical wisdom recommend isolation, sedation, and pain relief until further study can be done. Some hypotheses suggest that an aggressive customized anti-protein solution may be effective in limiting the spread of the disease. There have been limited successes in this regard.
It is believed that infected brain matter entered the food supply in processed foods meant for long term storage. This would explain the larger proportion of cases in the Rim: since more processed food is send to the Rim than Core or Border worlds, and efforts to recall foods are more likely to be successful in the Core than on the sparsely populated Rim.
- To date the numbers of actual cases is unclear. At least 400 cases have been recorded, but evidence suggests considerably more.
- Reavers appear to be vulnerable to the disease much as other humans.
- Disease cleared linked to a discontinued (for unrelated reasons) version the ProMagic protein texturizer. 'Verse wide recall is in effect, but they are still fairly common in the outlying systems.
- Dr. Kell Lawrence of St. Albans has created a method using 'Left-Handed Proteins' and surgery to combat the disease. It appears he has successfully reversed the damage.
- Some side-effects have occurred, with survivors of the disease showing mental pathologies, including what appears to be Savantism.