In a bid to combat the fatal human form of mad cow disease, Britain is preparing to open its first vCJD clinic in St Mary’s Hospital, London.

According to an announcement made by the World Congress of Neurology yesterday, the clinic will be devoted primarily to the study of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a brain wasting condition for which there is still no cure.

Under the direction of Professor John Collinge, a world expert on prion diseases, the National Prion Clinic, the clinic will also study related cerebral conditions.