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Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease


Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) damages your brain, spine, and nerves. CJD causes a loss of mental, emotional, and physical abilities. CJD is fatal over time.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Eating and swallowing:

A healthcare provider may work with you if you have trouble swallowing. He or she will show you safer ways to swallow and teach you which foods and liquids are safe to eat and drink. He or she may also recommend soft foods or thick liquids to make it easier to swallow. In some cases, you may receive nutrition through an IV or tube into your stomach.


  • Antianxiety medicine is given to reduce anxiety and help you feel calm.
  • Muscle relaxers are given to decrease muscle spasms and pain.
  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.


Healthcare providers will use tests often to check your reflexes, muscle strength, and alertness.


  • A biopsy is a procedure to remove small piece of tissue from your brain. Healthcare providers will send the sample to a lab to check for abnormal prions.
  • An EEG, or electroencephalogram, is done to see activity in your brain. Healthcare providers will place small pads on your head and connect them to a machine to see how your brain is working.
  • A lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, is a procedure to remove fluid from around your spinal cord through a needle. It may show signs of inflammation or infection.
    Lumbar Puncture Adult
  • An MRI may show areas of your brain that are damaged. You may be given contrast liquid to help your brain show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.


Signs and symptoms of CJD worsen and eventually lead to death.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.