The pattern of symptomscan vary depending on the type of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) .

In sporadic CJD, the symptoms mainly affect the workings of the nervous system (neurological symptoms) and these symptoms rapidly worsen in the space of a few months.

In variant CJD, symptoms that affect a person's behaviour and emotions (psychological symptoms) will usually develop first. These are then followed by neurological symptoms around four months later, which get worse over the following few months.

Familial CJD has the same sort of pattern as sporadic CJD, but it often takes longer for the symptoms to progress, usuallyaround two years rather than a few months.

The pattern of iatrogenic CJD is unpredictable, as it depends on how a person became exposed to the infectious protein (prion) that caused CJD.

They often become totally unaware of their surroundings and require around-the-clock care. They also often lose the ability to speak and can't communicate with their carers.

Death will inevitably follow, usually either as a result of aninfection, such as Pneumonia (alung infection), orrespiratory failure, where the lungs stop working and the person is unable to breathe.Nothing can be done to prevent death inthese circumstances.

Advancements in palliative care (the treatment of incurable conditions) mean that people with CJD often have a peaceful death.


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016