Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: Diagnosing typical and atypical presentations under limited circumstances

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Introduction: Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) is a transmissible disorder of the central nervous system caused by the transformation of normal prion protein into an abnormal misfolded form. The process begins spontaneously and runs a vicious cycle to cause spongiform encephalopathy, rapidly resulting in death. Amply described in the western literature, CJD is scarcely reported in Asia due to certain limitations including missed diagnosis, under-reporting, and rarity of the disease. Brain MRI, electroencephalogram, cerebrospinal fluid testing, and biopsy of the infected brain tissue support the diagnosis in cases of clinical suspicion. However, the diagnosis can still be made with limited available resources in developing countries.
Method: A review of CJD cases evaluated in the neurology department of a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan was done from 2002 to 2018.
Results: Eleven cases labeled as sCJD are identified based on the European MRI-CJD consortium criteria. This is the first study on CJD from Pakistan, which includes both the typical and atypical presentations.
Conclusion: Even with limited testing available, the diagnosis of CJD can be made with confidence in the developing countries, provided the suspicion is kept high in cases of rapid onset dementia and acute behavioral changes.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders