Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease

Essay by iu_2009College, UndergraduateB+, September 2014

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or CJD is a degenerative neurological disorder that is incurable and invariably fatal this progressive neurological disease is another common causes a type of dementia that gets worse unusually fast. Symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) sometimes resemble those of other dementia-like brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's, but Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease usually progress much more rapidly. CJD affects about one person in every one million people per year worldwide; in the United States there are about 300 cases per year (""Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Fact Sheet," NINDS").

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. Infectious agents, called prions attack the central nervous system and then invade the brain, causing dementia. Prions are chains of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) that occur naturally in human brains and are normally harmless. However, when the prion folds incorrectly into an abnormal three-dimensional shape that can't be used by the body (Sy Kraft (B.A.).

This shape change gradually triggers prion protein in the brain to fold into the same abnormal shape, misfolded prion protein destroys brain cells causing the brain tissue to develop holes and take a more sponge-like texture until the brain eventually resembles swiss cheese.

The risk of CJD is low. The disease can't be transmitted through coughing or sneezing, touching, or sexual contact. The three ways it develops are sporadically, familial, iatrogenic, and variant. Sporadically CJD which is when most people with classic CJD develop the disease for no apparent reason. CJD that occurs without explanation is termed spontaneous CJD or sporadic CJD and accounts for 85 percent of cases. Familial CJD meaning that anyone who inherits a CJD gene from an affected parent will also develop the disorder. In the...