Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

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Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease or CJD (pronounced /ˈkrɔɪtsfɛlt ˈjɑːkoʊb/,[1] "KROITS-felt YA-kob") is a degenerative neurological disorder (brain disease) that is incurable and invariably fatal.[2] It is the most common among the types of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy found in humans.[3]

Contents

Classification

Types include:

  • sporadic (sCJD)[4]
  • variant (vCJD)[5] This type is more likely to be acquired. It can be iatrogenic.[6] It was first identified in 1996.[7]
  • familial (fCJD)[8]

Signs and symptoms

The first symptom of CJD is rapidly progressive dementia, leading to memory loss, personality changes and hallucinations. This is accompanied by physical problems such as speech impairment, jerky movements (myoclonus), balance and coordination dysfunction (ataxia), changes in gait, rigid posture, and seizures. The duration of the disease varies greatly, but sporadic (non-inherited) CJD can be fatal within months or even weeks (Johnson, 1998). In some people, the symptoms can continue for years. In most patients, these symptoms are followed by involuntary movements and the appearance of an atypical diagnostic electroencephalogram tracing.

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