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A fatal degenerative disease of the brain caused by a prion, formerly found among certain peoples of New Guinea and transmitted by the consumption of human flesh during mortuary rites.

[Fore (language of eastern Papua New Guinea).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Pathology) a degenerative disease of the nervous system, restricted to certain tribes in New Guinea, marked by loss of muscular control and thought to be caused by a slow virus
[C20: from a native name]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkʊər u)

a fatal disease of the nervous system, resembling scrapie in sheep, reported among highland New Guinea peoples who ritually eat the brains of their dead kin.
[1955–60; < Fore, a language of the Eastern Highlands province of Papua New GuineaPapuan]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.kuru - a progressive disease of the central nervous system marked by increasing lack of coordination and advancing to paralysis and death within a year of the appearance of symptoms; thought to have been transmitted by cannibalistic consumption of diseased brain tissue since the disease virtually disappeared when cannibalism was abandoned
nervous disorder, neurological disease, neurological disorder - a disorder of the nervous system
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the case of those rugby players and others who may have more secretively consumed human meat in recent decades, it can't be known definitively whether they will be safe from the same kuru disease the Fore tribe experienced, as prion diseases have long incubation periods, sometimes even decades long.
Como terminos Mesh se usaron: Creutzfeldt-Jakob syndrome, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Kuru disease, prion diseases, cerebrospinal fluid, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob, 14-3-3 protein, rapidprogresive dementia, prion diseases y variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Kuru disease is only seen in the eastern highlands of papa New Guinea.