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CJD mimics and chameleons

Mead, S; Rudge, P; (2017) CJD mimics and chameleons. Practical Neurology , 17 (2) pp. 113-121. 10.1136/practneurol-2016-001571. Green open access

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Abstract

Rapidly progressive dementia mimicking Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a relatively rare presentation but a rewarding one to become familiar with, as the potential diagnoses range from the universally fatal to the completely reversible. Patients require urgent decisions about assessment and investigation and have quickly evolving needs for treatments and support, through symptom management and end-of-life care in most cases. We have based this pragmatic review on the experiences of a specialist prion referral centre in the UK, which, unsurprisingly, is strongly biased towards seeing patients with CJD. Cases eventually proven not to have prion disease might be described as 'CJD-mimics'; being referred from UK neurologists, these are the most challenging cases. CJD in its classical presentation is very rarely mimicked; however, it is highly heterogeneous, and atypical forms can mimic virtually all common neurodegenerative syndromes. Warning features of a mimic include generalised seizures, hyponatraemia, fever, a facial movement disorder, a normal neurological examination and a modestly rapid presentation. Contrast-enhancing lesions or MRI signal hyperintensity outside the striatum, thalamus or cortex and a cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis are key investigation pointers to a CJD mimic.

Type: Article
Title: CJD mimics and chameleons
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/practneurol-2016-001571
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1136/practneurol-2016-001571
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Institute of Prion Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Institute of Prion Diseases > MRC Prion Unit at UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1556614
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