kuru(redirected from Laughing Death)
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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).]
(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]
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]
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|Noun||1.||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|