Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

What is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease?

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is a rare condition that affects the brain, nerves and spinal cord. Symptoms can include:

  • loss of intellect and memory
  • difficulty walking and loss of mobility
  • slurred speech
  • dizziness
  • vision problems

There are four main types of CJD. They are all fatal.

CJD is degenerative which means it worsens over time. Most people with CJD will die within a year of the symptoms starting.

What causes CJD?

CJD is caused by an abnormal infectious protein, called prion. Prion contaminates the nervous system and damages the brain.

CJD may have been passed to humans through beef products infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). However, this is not the case for the most common form of CJD – sporadic CJD. The cause of sporadic CJD, which accounts for 85% of all CJD cases, still remains unknown.