Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Variant Overview

Another name for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Variant is Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

What is variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease?
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare brain disorder that causes progressive dementia, leading to coma and death. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is caused by an abnormal protein, called a prion. The prion is present in cattle that have bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Humans may become infected by eating cattle that are infected with the prion. Cases of Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are very rare because infected cattle are removed from the food supply.

What are the symptoms of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease?
Initial symptoms of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease include hallucinations, unrealistic ideas or plans, insomnia and mood changes. Symptoms of worsening variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease include abnormal movements, difficulty speaking, poor balance, facial weakness, confusion, hearing loss and tremors.

How does the doctor treat variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease?
There is no cure for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Treatment for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease may include anticonvulsant medications, antidepressant medications, sedatives, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Continue to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Variant Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 12, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Variant References
  1. Beisel CE, Morens DM: Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and the acquired and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Clin Infect Dis 2004 Mar 1; 38(5): 697-704. [14986255]
  2. Brown P: The risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy ('mad cow disease') to human health. JAMA 1997 Sep 24; 278(12): 1008-11. [9307349]
  3. Collinge J: Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Lancet 1999 Jul 24; 354(9175): 317-23. [10440324]
  4. Roma AA, Prayson RA. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: how safe is eating beef? Cleve Clin J Med. 2005 Mar;72(3):185-6, 189-90, 192-4. [15825799]
  5. Weihl CC, Roos RP. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, new variant creutzfeldt-jakob disease, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Neurol Clin. 1999 Nov;17(4):835-59. [10517931]
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