Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease digital illustration

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease Save

ICD-10 code: A81.0

Chapter: Certain infectious and parasitic diseases

Understanding Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, commonly known as CJD, is a rare and fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects the brain and nervous system. The disease is caused by an abnormal protein called prion, which leads to the destruction of brain cells.

CJD is a rapidly progressive disease that can cause severe disability and death within a few months of onset. The disease is rare, affecting about one in every million people worldwide. However, it is important to be aware of the symptoms and seek medical attention if they occur.

Symptoms of CJD

The symptoms of CJD are similar to those of other neurological diseases, making it difficult to diagnose in the early stages. The symptoms may include:

  1. Muscle stiffness and twitching
  2. Difficulty walking and coordinating movements
  3. Confusion and memory loss
  4. Behavioral changes
  5. Blurred vision and blindness
  6. Difficulty speaking and swallowing

The symptoms of CJD usually worsen rapidly over a few weeks or months, leading to severe disability and eventually death.

Causes of CJD

CJD is caused by an abnormal protein called prion. Prions are infectious proteins that can cause other proteins in the brain to fold abnormally, leading to the destruction of brain cells. There are three main types of CJD:

  1. Sporadic CJD - the most common form of the disease with no known cause
  2. Hereditary CJD - caused by a genetic mutation that is passed down through families
  3. Acquired CJD - caused by exposure to infected tissue, such as contaminated surgical instruments or infected human tissue

It is important to note that CJD is not contagious and cannot be transmitted through normal contact with infected individuals.

Treatment for CJD

There is currently no cure for CJD, and treatment is focused on relieving symptoms and improving quality of life. Treatment may include medications to manage symptoms such as pain, anxiety, and depression.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of CJD, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment can help improve quality of life and may prolong survival.