Pronounced: Kroytz-felt Jay-kobEn Español (Spanish Version)
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare, fatal, degenerative brain disorder characterized by rapidly progressive dementia.
CJD can be categorized into different subtypes:
- Sporadic CJD—most common type; usually affects people aged 50 years and older
- Familial CJD—an inherited form of the disease
- Iatrogenic CJD—contracted through medical procedures, such as injections of growth hormone, or receipt of corneal transplants or dura mater implants from affected donors
Variant CJD (vCJD) is a different prion disease caused by eating contaminated beef products. This variant form differs from other forms of CJD because it affects younger people and has a longer average time course.
It is generally believed that CJD is caused by infectious proteins called prions. Prions are normal proteins in the body. If these prions fold up in a different way than normal, they may transform into the protein that causes the illness. The build-up of abnormal prions may be linked to the brain damage associated with CJD.
Last reviewedJune 2013by Rimas Lukas, MD; Brian Randall, MD
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