Rare diseases with symptoms
About Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Prion diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, occur when prion protein, which is found throughout the body but whose normal function isn't yet known, begins folding into an abnormal three-dimensional shape. This shape change gradually triggers prion protein in the brain to fold into the same abnormal shape.
Through a process scientists don't yet understand, misfolded prion protein destroys brain cells. Resulting damage leads to rapid decline in thinking and reasoning as well as involuntary muscle movements, confusion, difficulty walking and mood changes. Sign up for our enews to receive updates about Alzheimer’s and dementia care and research.
CJD is rare, occurring in about one in 1 million people annually worldwide.
Experts generally recognize the following main types of CJD:
Sporadic CJD develops spontaneously for no known reason. It accounts for 85 percent of cases. On average, sporadic CJD first appears between ages 60 and 65.
Familial CJD is a heredity form caused by certain changes in the prion protein gene. These genetic changes are "dominant, " meaning that anyone who inherits a CJD gene from an affected parent will also develop the disorder. Familial CJD accounts for about 10 to 15 percent of cases.
Infectious CJD is an especially rare form of CJD and results from exposure to an external source of abnormal prion protein. These sources are estimated to account for about 1 percent of CJD cases. The two most common outside sources are:
- Medical procedures involving instruments used in neurosurgery, growth hormone from human sources or certain transplanted human tissues. The risk of CJD from medical procedures has been greatly reduced by improved sterilization techniques, new single-use instruments and synthetic sources of growth hormone.
Chronic wasting disease
This prion disease is similar to mad cow disease that's been found in wild deer, elk and moose. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there's no evidence to date that the disease has been transmitted to humans.Meat or other products from cattle infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("mad cow disease"), recognized in the mid-1990s as the cause of variant CJD (vCJD). Scientists traced this new type of CJD to consumption of beef from cattle whose feed included processed brain tissue from other animals.
Learn more from the CDC.
This slide shows sponge-like lesions in the brain tissue of a CJD patient. (Image courtesy Ermias Belay)
Specific Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease symptoms experienced by an individual and the order in which they appear can differ significantly. Some common symptoms include:
- Agitation, apathy and mood swings
- Rapidly worsening confusion, disorientation, and problems with memory, thinking, planning and judgment
- Difficulty walking
- Muscle stiffness, twitches and involuntary jerky movements
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Skin diseasesby jjjjjjjj
Herpes, probably. highly unlikely though. you kind of have to rub up against someone to transfer the virus. but, it's thought, if they were shedding at the time without symptoms you could have transferred the virus. same rare situation as someone with cold sores infecting themself down below because of wandering hands.
RabbitEars is right.by shermie
Don't self-diagnose-get a neuro's diagnosis. There are other diseases whose symptoms mimic MS.
None of the MS drugs render a person unable to work, & dying of MS is pretty uncommon. Of course your mother would be frightened about that possibility, but if she's diagnosed she needs to know that's rare. Also, if she IS diagnosed, please know & tell her that with drug therapy & physical therapy it's possible to regain some lost functionality.
For sure, keep a positive attitude. You already know that stress isn't helpful. Whatever her diagnosis be a source of strength. Let her know how much you love her & that she can always talk to you.
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