Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is the most common of a group of rare dementia types called spongiform encephalopathy.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other related diseases are the result of abnormal proteins in the brain called prions. Once present in the brain, prions “infect” healthy proteins, creating new prions. These prions affect the brain’s normal functions and lead to personality changes and problems with memory, movement, and vision. This process occurs very quickly and most individuals who develop Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease die within a year.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a transmissable disease; however, a person who has daily contact with someone with the disease is at very low risk for contracting it. The highest risk for infection comes from exposure to tissue and fluids from the brain and spine. Less than one percent of CJD cases are caused by person-to-person transmission — usually the cause of CJD is unknown.
Review the resources below to learn much more about CJD and related dementias.
Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Description: This web page provides a detailed discussion of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. It also provides links to current research and supporting organizations.
Source: Family Caregiving Alliance
Description: This web page discusses the symptoms of Lewy Body dementia compared to Alzheimer's disease, duration and treatment of LBD, and caregiving of someone with LBD.
Source: Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation
Description: This website provides education, support, and advocacy information on Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). In addition, there is a free help line which caregivers can call for support and help for their loved one with the disease.