What is the prognosis for kuru?

Similar to the other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), kuru has a long incubation period. It is years or even decades before an infected person shows symptoms. Because kuru mainly affects the cerebellum, which is responsible for coordination, the usual first symptoms are an unsteady gait, tremors, and slurred speech. (Kuru is the Fore word for shiver.) Unlike most of the other TSEs, dementia is either minimal or absent. Mood changes are common. Eventually, individuals are unable to stand or eat and they die in a comatose state 6 to 12 months after the first appearance of symptoms.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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