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Types of Dementia: Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease - DementiaGuide.com
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Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare, rapid and fatal disease of the central nervous system . Death often occurs within 6-12 months of diagnosis . This disease is thought to be caused by prions , which are particles that change our body's proteins into infectious deadly proteins, which results in brain death.

There are two types of CJD: classic and variant. Classic CJD can be further divided into three types:

1) Sporadic
2) Familial or Genetic
3) Iatrogenic

Sporadic CJD, which is the most common type, occurs at random, affecting those aged 45-75, with no regard to race or gender. Its cause is unknown and the disease appears without warning. The prognosis of sporadic CJD is about one year. Familial or genetic CJD appears in families of individuals who carry an abnormal gene. These people have a 50 percent chance of passing the disease onto their offspring. Iatrogenic CJD, which is very rare (less than 1 percent of CJD is of this type), is acquired accidentally during medical procedure (e.g. infected blood, contaminated equipment).

Variant CJD (vCJD) occurs in younger individuals (average age 28-29 years of age) and generally lasts longer than the classic form of CJD. vCJD appears to result from eating meat from cows that have been contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also commonly known as "mad cow disease". This type of CJD is very rare.

Symptoms of CJD can include mood swings, jerking movements, problems walking, vision disturbances, and paranoia . With vCJD, it is common to see psychiatric / behavioural symptoms and painful dysesthesias (abnormal and unpleasant sensory experience). There is currently no cure for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It is a devastating illness that often robs its sufferers of their abilities in a very short period. The disorder is rare, only occurring in about 1 out of 1 million people.

See Also:
About Dementia > "Understanding Dementia" > Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
About Dementia > "Understanding Dementia" > Balance and Gait
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Last updated December 7, 2018
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