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Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and its implications for psychiatric management

  • Rob Butler and Simon Fleminger

Extract

Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) is a devastating illness that is rare and notorious in equal measures. In 1996 a ‘new variant’ (vCJD) was identified (Will et al, 1996), which is likely to be caused by humans eating beef infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Although the number of new cases of vCJD has not started rising, the long incubation period means that it will be many years before a major epidemic in humans can be ruled out. In the meantime, representatives of patients with vCJD have expressed concerns about the care that sufferers receive. In particular, patients often present with psychiatric symptoms, but there is some delay before the correct diagnosis is made.

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Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and its implications for psychiatric management

  • Rob Butler and Simon Fleminger
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