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Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – Causes and Symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)is a brain disorder that is degenerative and can lead to dementia and untimely death. Symptoms of CJD is like other dementia disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease, but this disease progresses very rapidly. Though this disorder is serious but when it comes to the occurrence, it is estimated that CJD occurs in one person among one million people each year throughout the world. This disorder of the brain occurs most commonly in older adults.

Causes of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
The cause of this neurological disorder is due to a kind of protein called prion. These proteins are are usually harmless but at times can turn infectious and can wreak on normal biological processes. The various ways of transmission includes:

  • Spontaneously: This is the classic type where there is no apparent reason. CJD occurs spontaneously and this accounts for the majority of cases.
  • Genetic Mutation: About 5 to 10 percent of people with CJD have a family history of this disease in the United States. This type is referred as familial CJD.
  • Contamination: Some of the people have developed CJD after getting exposed to the infected human tissue during any medical procedures like skin or corneal transplant. CJD also spreads as a result of eating the infected beef with spongiform encephalopathy, the medical term for mad cow disease.

Complications
CJD affects the the mind as well as the body. People suffering from this disorder usually withdraw from family and friends and they lose the ability to care for themselves and may slip into coma. This disease is fatal. Some of the physical complications include:

  • Severe infection
  • Respiratory failure
  • Heart failure
  • If left untreated Coma and death

Symptoms
The signs and symptoms include:

  • Personality changes
  • Depression
  • Impaired thinking
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Jerky movements

Other Symptoms
As the disease progresses, the symptoms worsen and most of the people lapse into coma. Heart failure, pneumonia, respiratory failure and other infections are the cause of death. In some people, along with dementia, the ability to reason and think are affected.

When to consult your doctor?
Consult your doctor when you find the above signs and symptoms before your condition gets complicated.

1 response to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – Causes and Symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

  1. I thankfully don’t have CJD but I lost a friend to the familial type last year, and it was horrible to watch him deteriorate and die. Hopefully a cure will be found quite soon, now that the agent responsible has been identified. Who knows, maybe the discovery of prions will lead to the finding of cures to other diseases, like MS and Alzheimers.

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