Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease Essay

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Tamara Wolter 04/21/2011 A & P 2 Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD) is the best known of a group of diseases called prion disease, which affect a form of protein found in the central nervous system and causes dementia. It was first reported by two German doctors (Creutzfeldt and Jacob) in 1920, although it has been well recognized in animals for centuries. It affects about one person in every one million people per year worldwide. Typically, onset of symptoms occurs about age 60, and about 90 percent of individuals die within 1 year. There are three major categories of CJD: In sporadic CJD, the disease appears even thought the person has no known risk factors for the disease. In hereditary CJD, the person has a family history of the disease and tests positive for a genetic mutation associated with CJD. In acquired CJD, the disease is transmitted by exposure to brain or nervous system tissue, usually through certain medical procedures. In the early stages of the disease, people may have failing memory, behavioral changes, lack of coordination and visual disturbances. As the illness progresses, mental deterioration becomes pronounced and involuntary movements, blindness, weakness of extremities, and coma may occur. People wit the disease may also experience insomnia, depression, or unusual sensations. CJD does not cause a fever or other flu like symptoms. They eventually lose the ability to move or speak and enter a coma. Pneumonia and other infections often occur in these individuals and can lead to death. Some symptoms of CJD can be similar to symptoms of other progressive neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s disease. However, CJD causes unique changes in brain tissue which can be seen at autopsy. It also tends to cause more rapid deterioration of a person’s abilities than Alzheimer’s disease or

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