Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

About Dementia

Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (CJD)


Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease, or CJD, is of the most rapid and devastating forms of dementia. It is caused by an abnormal prion protein. It is rare.

Signs and Symptoms

CJD usually progresses over the course of just a few months. All types of memory and thinking may be affected. Additionally, CJD and other prion diseases can cause jerky involuntary movements, seizures, and major disturbances in sleep.  CJD is fatal.

Diagnosis and Treatment

CJD is diagnosed by a combination of clinical features (the signs and symptoms) and other evidence from tests such as spinal fluid tests (protein 14-3-3, tau), genetic testing, and brain MRI changes. There are no treatments at the current time.

This page last updated Jun 15, 2012

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