A patient with an 8-month history of neurological decline dies after a severe bout of aspiration pneumonia. Autopsy of her brain reveals extensive loss of granule cells in the cerebellum and other changes most obvious in the cerebellar cortex. Fine vacuoles give the brain a spongiform appearance. No senile plaques are evident. The patient could have acquired this progressive disease through which of the following means?

a. Sexual intercourse

b. A blood transfusion

c. Consumption of raw fish

d. An upper respiratory infection

e. Growth hormone treatment

the answer is below…

The United States Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE for short, is a three-part licensing examination that is required in order to receive a license to practice medicine within the United States.

The USMLE assesses a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to determine fundamental patient-centered skills that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.Examination committees composed of medical educators and clinicians from across the United States and its territories prepare the examination materials each year.

This exam is designed by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners to determine whether or not an individual understands and can apply the knowledge necessary to practice medicine safely and intelligently.

The USMLE is actually comprised of three different exams that are referred to as steps, which examine the individual’s knowledge of specific topics related to the field of medicine such as basic science, medical knowledge, medical skills, clinical science, and the application of all of these skills and areas of knowledge in the medical field.

All three steps of the USMLE include a series of computerized multiple-choice questions, but the format of the exam and the information covered in each multiple-choice section is different for each step of the USMLE. The USMLE Step II also has a clinical skills portion that examines an individual’s ability to work with real patients and the USMLE Step III has a computerized patient simulation portion in addition to the multiple-choice section of the exam. In order for an individual to receive a license to practice medicine, the individual must pass all three steps of the USMLE.

Medical doctors with an M.D. degree are required to pass this examination before being permitted to practice medicine in the United States of America

The correct answer is e; Growth hormone treatment.[3]

The most likely cause of spongiform encephalopathy in this middle-aged woman is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This is classified as a prion disease and can be transmitted via infected nervous system tissue, including dura mater grafts, and occasionally via growth hormone preparations acquired from cadaver pituitary glands. A similar disease (kuru) occurs in Fore Islanders of New Guinea and is presumed to spread through the ritual handling or eating of human brain tissue. As of 1999, 113 cases due to growth hormone preparations had been reported, with incubation periods ranging from 5 to 30 years.