What Is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (Prion Disease)?
Several conditions fall under the term "prion diseases." A
prion is a type of protein that can trigger normal proteins in the
brain to fold abnormally. Prion diseases can affect both humans and
animals and are sometimes transmitted to humans by infected meat
products. The most common form of prion disease that affects humans is
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).
Facts about prion diseases
Prion diseases lead to brain damage when prion proteins cause
abnormal clumping in the brain. This abnormal accumulation of protein
in the brain can cause memory impairment, personality changes, and
difficulties with movement. Experts still don't know a lot about prion
diseases, but unfortunately, these disorders are generally fatal.
Prion diseases are rare. About 300 cases are reported each year in
the United States.