You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to an infectious disease specialist.
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any recent life changes.
- Create a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
- Bring a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to soak up all the information you get during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions for your doctor will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important. For Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- What is the best course of action?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What Web sites do you recommend visiting?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment at any time.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
Oct. 23, 2012
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Has anyone in your family had Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease?
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cjd/detail_cjd.htm. Accessed July 2, 2012.
- vCJD (variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/vcjd/factsheet_nvcjd.htm. Accessed July 2, 2012.
- Imran M, et al. An overview of human prion diseases. Virology Journal. 2011;8:559.
- Zerr I, et al. Updated clinical diagnostic criteria for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Brain. 2009;132:2659.
- Rosenbloom MH, et al. The evaluation of rapidly progressive dementia. Neurologist. 2011;17:67.
- Greenberg DA, et al. Clinical Neurology. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=5143601. Accessed July 2, 2012.
- McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2012. 51st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=17051. Accessed July 2, 2012.
- WHO infection control guidelines for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/bse/WHO_CDS_CSR_APH_2000_3/en/. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Vaccines and variant CJD (vCDJ) questions and answers. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/QuestionsAnswers/ucm173909.htm?utm_campaign=Google2&utm_source=fdaSearch&utm_medium=website&utm_term=Insulin,%20vCJD&utm_content=10. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Questions and answers on importing beef or pork insulin for personal use. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/QuestionsaboutVaccines/ucm143522.htm - 12k - 2009-04-29. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Current thinking on measures that could be implemented to minimize human exposure to materials that could potentially contain the bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/topics/bse_thinking.htm. Accessed July 3, 2012.