What is it?

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is a human prion disease. It is a rare, degenerative, neurological disorder that presents with rapidly progressive dementia and eventually death. The disease is a part of a group called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). In these diseases a protein called prion is produced abnormally. CJD can be transmitted either sporadically or by inheritance- familial CJD. Also, a small number of patients can get contaminated with CJD after being exposed to infected human tissue such as corna or skin transplant., In the 1990s, some people in Britain developed a form of the disease after eating meat from diseased cattle. Risk factors for CJD include older age, familial history, exposure to contaminated tissue

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Cerebral degeneration due to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- Dementia due to Creutzfeldt Jakob disease
- Spongiform encephalopathy
- Subacute spongiform encephalopathy

Signs & symptoms

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) early symptoms may include personality change, memory loss, impaired thinking, blurred vision, blindness, insomnia, lack of coordination, difficulty to speak or swallow, jerky movements. Later on, symptoms may include coma, heart failure, lung failure, pneumonia and other infections and also death.


Diagnosis is done upon findings from physical examination. Other common tests may include EEG, MRI and cerebral spinal fluid examination on a spinal tap- mostly to rule other neurological conditions. A newer test called RT-QuIC can detect the presence of prion protein and help establish the diagnosis. A definitive diagnosis can be done in a brain biopsy.


Treatment for CJD does not exist yet, it mostly consists of supportive treatment such as pain relief.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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