Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease
National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is an extremely rare degenerative brain disorder (i.e., spongiform encephalopathy) characterized by sudden development of rapidly progressive neurological and neuromuscular symptoms. With symptom onset, affected individuals may develop confusion, depression, behavioral changes, impaired vision, and/or impaired coordination. As the disease progresses, there may be rapidly progressive deterioration of cognitive processes and memory (dementia), resulting in confusion and disorientation, impairment of memory control, personality disintegration, agitation, restlessness, and other symptoms and findings. Affected individuals also develop neuromuscular abnormalities such as muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass (wasting); irregular, rapid, shock-like muscle spasms (myoclonus); and/or relatively slow, involuntary, continual writhing movements (athetosis), particularly of the arms and legs. Later stages of the disease may include further loss of physical and intellectual functions, a state of unconsciousness (coma), and increased susceptibility to repeated infections of the respiratory tract (e.g., pneumonia). In many affected individuals, life-threatening complications may develop less than a year after the disorder becomes apparent.
In approximately 90 percent of cases, CJD appears to occur randomly for no apparent reason (sporadically). About 10 percent of affected individuals may have a hereditary predisposition for the disorder. Reports in the medical literature suggest that familial cases of CJD are consistent with an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance. In addition, in some extremely rare cases, CJD may take an infectious form. The disorder is thought to result from changes (mutations) in the gene that regulates the production of the human prion protein or direct contamination (transmission) with abnormal prion protein in infected brain tissue.
A variant form of CJD (V-CJD) has been reported in the United Kingdom that affects younger people (median age at onset: 28 years) than does classic CJD. In 1996, experts suggested the possibility that this variant might be associated with consumption of beef from cows with a related infectious brain disorder known as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or "Mad Cow Disease." BSE was first identified in the UK in 1986 and the number of reported cases grew rapidly, peaking in the winter of 1992-93 when almost 1,000 new cases were reported each week. Later, BSE also began to appear in some other European countries. Scientific research and debate continue concerning the potential link between BSE and V-CJD. In addition, coordinated national and international efforts are in place concerning the prevention, study, and surveillance of BSE and CJD. In early December 2000, European Union agriculture ministers agreed upon new measures to combat the spread of mad cow disease, including incinerating any cow over 30 months of age that had not tested negative for BSE. (BSE is thought to become detectable and infectious when cattle are approximately 30 months old.)
225 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60601
Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center
P.O. Box 8250
Silver Spring, MD 20907-8250
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
1731 King Street, Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22314
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Office of Communications and Government Relations
6610 Rockledge Drive, MSC 6612
Bethesda, MD 20892-6612
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
World Health Organization (WHO)
Avenue Appia 20
Geneva 27, 1211
Tel: + 41 22 791 21 11
Fax: + 41 22 791 31 11
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 5312
Akron, OH 44334
2527 South Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118-3013
National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center
Institute of Pathology
Case Western Reserve University
2085 Adelbert Road, Room 418
Cleveland, OH 44106-4907
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Human BSE Foundation
Chester Le Street
County Durham, DH2 2TX
Tel: 0191 389 4157
UCSF Memory and Aging Center
350 Parnassus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94117
C-Mac Informational Services, Inc.
120 Clinton Lane
Cookeville, TN 38501-8946
For a Complete Report
This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to MyD-H, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock patient portal. You must be a registered MyD-H user for the Lebanon, Manchester, or Nashua locations to access this site.
The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.
It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report
This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.
For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email email@example.com
Last Updated: 4/7/2009
Copyright 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2009 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.