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Creutzfeldt-jakob Disease

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

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 will show you safer ways to swallow and teach you which foods and liquids are safe to eat and drink. He 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.

Medicines:

  • 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.

Monitoring:

Healthcare providers will perform frequent tests to check your reflexes, muscle strength, and alertness.

Tests:

  • 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 during which healthcare providers insert a needle and remove fluid from around your spinal cord. It may show signs of inflammation or infection.
  • A MRI may show areas of your brain that are damaged. You may be given contrast dye to help your brain show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. 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.

RISKS:

Signs and symptoms of CJD worsen as the disease progresses and eventually lead to death.

CARE AGREEMENT:

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 caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.

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