Definition of Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease

Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease: A degenerative disease of the brain that causes dementia and, eventually, death. It is believed to be caused by an unconventional microbe called a prion, rather than by bacteria or a virus. Abbreviated CJD. Symptoms of CJD include forgetfulness, nervousness, trembling hand movements, unsteady gait, muscle spasms, chronic dementia, balance disorder, and loss of facial expression. CJD is classified as a spongiform encephalopathy, and it has some relationship to animal diseases in that category, most notably bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease). There is neither treatment nor cure for CJD. Also known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob syndrome, Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease, and spastic pseuodoparalysis.


Last Editorial Review: 3/30/2012

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