What're the symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease?
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is characterized by forgetfulness and nervousness; jerky, trembling hand movements; unsteady gait; myoclonus; chronic dementia; severe balance disturbance; and muscular rigidity. Patients can have characteristic brain electrical changes referred to as periodic electroencephalogram (EEG) complexes. Brain biopsy (pathology under
the microscope) includes typical tissue changes referred to as status spongiosus, diffuse nerve cell degeneration, and glial proliferation. There is no known treatment or cure for CJD. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) represents another, similar disease of cattle.
For variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), at the early stage patients usually experience psychiatric symptoms, which most commonly take the form of depression or, less often, a schizophrenia-like psychosis. Unusual sensory symptoms, such as "stickiness" of the skin, have been experienced by half of the cases early in the illness. Neurological signs, including unsteadiness, difficulty walking and involuntary movements, develop as the illness progresses and, by the time of death, patients become completely immobile and mute.
Muscle spasms and jerking movements, called myoclonus, are also a prominent symptom of CJD. Balance and coordination disturbance (ataxia), is common in CJD, and is more pronounced in nvCJD. Stiffness, difficulty moving, and other features representing Parkinson's disease are seen and can progress to akinetic mutism, or a state of being unable to speak or move.
More information on prion diseases (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, fatal familial insomnia, kuru)
What're prion diseases? - Prion diseases (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) are a group of inherited and spontaneous neurodegenerative disorders affecting animals and humans.
What is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease? - Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is degenerative brain disorder. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rapidly progressive disease causing damage to the brain.
What types of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are there? - There are three types of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: sporadic (or classical), hereditary (or familial) and acquired (or iatrogenic).
What's variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)? - Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is a rare and fatal human neurodegenerative condition. vCJD affects younger patients.
What causes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease? - There are three main causes for classic CJD. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease through infection is transmitted by prions.
What're the symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease? - Symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease include forgetfulness and nervousness, jerky, trembling hand movements, unsteady gait, myoclonus.
How is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease diagnosed? - Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is diagnosed by a clinical neurological exam and electroencephalography (EEG).
What's the treatment for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease? - There is no cure for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and no treatment which slows the progression of the disease.
How to prevent Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease? - Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is prevented by handling their fluids and tissues with extreme caution and by using special sterilization methods to disinfect equipment.
What is fatal familial insomnia? - Fatal familial insomnia is caused by prions, similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
What is Kuru? - Kuru is a degenerative nerve disease caused by a prion (infectious protein) transmitted to humans via contaminated human brain tissue.