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Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is a rare and fatal brain disorder. Most cases of classical CJD are sporadic and the source of the disease is not known. Some cases of CJD are inherited genetically. Iatrogenic CJD cases can occur as a result of contamination with nervous system tissue, cornea grafts or pituitary gland-derived growth hormone from an infected person. Variant CJD (vCJD) is caused by exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or "mad cow disease," a prion disease found in cattle. Initial symptoms of CJD may include: depression, memory lapses, dementia, unsteadiness, and lack of coordination. Later, symptoms may progress to jerky movements, rigid limbs, blindness and incontinence. Eventually, a person with CJD loses the ability to move or speak.