CJD Brain Disease: Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors – Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare brain disorder that can lead to dementia to death. It’s a neurodegenerative condition that slowly destroys brain cells and causes tiny sponge-like holes in the brain.
Although the incidence of this disease is rare, but every case is very fatal. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person with CJD usually dies within 1 year after symptoms appear.
The disease, first studied by German doctors Hans Creutzfeldt and Alfons Jakob in the 1920s, has similar mechanisms of an animal disease called bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease in cows and scrapies in sheep.
CJD Brain Disease Symptoms
The Creutzfeldt – Jakob disease is characterized by a rapid mental deterioration, usually within a few months. The main signs and symptoms of CJD usually include:
- Changes in personality
- Memory loss
- Decreased thinking
- Blurred view
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sudden and uncontrollable movement of the body
As it develops, the mental symptoms will worsen. Many of them even fell into a coma. Heart failure, respiratory failure, pneumonia or other infections generally lead to death. The disease usually takes seven months, although in some of those with the disease, it can live normally within a year or two after diagnosis. In some of those with a rare variant of CJD Brain Disease, the more likely symptom to occur at first is dementia’s lost ability to think and remember.
Causes of CJD Brain Disease
There are three types of classic CJD. Each has a different cause:
This is the most common type. It is caused by a harmful protein in the body called prion. Prion protein is a normal part of your body. But sometimes they can fold the wrong way when they are formed. These “wrong folds” prions infect the brain and destroy brain cells. Scientists don’t know why this happened.
This happens to people who inherit evil genes from parents. Only 10% to 15% of CJD cases each year are familial..
The rarest form, It occurs when a person comes into contact with medical devices (such as scalpels), organs (through transplantation), or CJD-infected growth hormone. That makes up less than 1% of classic CJD cases.
Most cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease occur for unknown reasons, and no risk factors can be identified. However, several factors seem to be related to different types of CJD:
Sporadic CJD tends to develop later in life, usually around the age of 60. Familial CJD onset occurs a little earlier, and vCJD has affected people at a much younger age, usually in their late 20s.
People with familial CJD have a genetic mutation that causes the disease. To develop familial CJD, a child must have one copy of the mutated gene, inherited from one of the parents. If you have a mutation, the chances of transmitting it to your child are 50%.
Exposure to contaminated tissue
People who have received infected artificial human growth hormone, or who have undergone an infected tissue transplant covering the brain (dura mater), may be at risk of developing iatrogenic CJD.
The risk of developing vCJD from eating contaminated meat is very low. In general, if countries implement public health measures effectively, the risk is almost non-existent. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that attacks deer, reindeer, and elk. It has been found in several areas of North America. To date, there have been no documented cases of CWD causing disease in humans.
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- Video: Soton Brain Hub