Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease 

Description
  • Creutzfeldt or Jakob’s disease is a brain disorder that leads to dementia and eventually death.
  • The disease is degenerative, which causes progressive impairment of structural and functional parts of the body.
Location
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s Disease can be found worldwide.
  • It is fairly rare with only one diagnosed case per million people every year.
Cause
  • It is believed that the cause of Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s Disease is abnormal versions of a protein called prion. Prion becomes infectious and disturbs normal biological process. 
  • Fortunately, the risk of having this disease is rare and it is not contagious by normal contact.
  • There have been some instances of infection by skin transplants, also known as iatrogenic CJD.
  • Variant CJD is related to eating infected beef with BSE (mad cow disease). 
  • Causes can also be related to family history or by chance.
Symptoms

Symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s Disease are similar to other brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. Others include:

  • Impaired thinking
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Memory loss
  • Changes in personality

Symptoms will worsen over time.

Treatment
  • Unfortunately, there is no cure for Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s Disease. There are drugs that can help reduce pain and other symptoms to make the patient feel comfortable.
Prevention
  • There is no way to prevent sporadic CJD and if you have a family history that puts you at a higher risk, you could talk to a genetics expert.
  • Medical establishments follow strict policies for safety and prevention of iatrogenic CJD.
Handling
Animals    
  • There is no cure for BSE or Mad Cow Disease. You can prevent BSE by avoiding, isolating, and destroying any infected animal.
Other Facts
  • In the United States, only 3 cows have been reported to have Mad Cow Disease, whereas in Canada there have been 19 reported cases.