As with other causes of dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease profoundly affects the brain as well as the body, although CJD and its variants usually progress much more rapidly. People with CJD usually withdraw from friends and family and eventually lose the ability to recognize or relate to them in any meaningful way. They also lose the ability to care for themselves, and many eventually slip into a coma. The disease ultimately is fatal.

Physical complications, all of which may become life-threatening, include:

  • Infection
  • Heart failure
  • Respiratory failure
Oct. 23, 2012

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