Risking All For A Cure

When Jonathan Simms was 17, doctors thought he had 14 months to live. The Belfast teen was exhibiting the first symptoms of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (VCJD), the human version of mad cow disease, and there could only be one prognosis. But three years later, his condition is no longer considered terminal. Thanks to a controversial new therapy, he may become the first known survivor of a disease that has killed 147 Britons since 1995.

After the diagnosis, Simms' father Don read about the use of an anticoagulant called pentosan polysulphate (PPS) to delay the onset of scrapie, a...

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