Updated: 11/6/2016

Spongiform Encephalopathy / Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Topic
Review Topic
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Questions
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Evidence
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Overview
 
 

 
Snapshot
  • A 58-year-old male presents with difficulties in concentration and worsening insomnia. These symptoms have been progressively worsening over the past month. Startle myoclonus is appreciated on physical examination. Electroencephalography shows biphasic sharp wave patterns.
Introduction
  • Prions
    • misfolded intracellular proteins that lead to neurodegeneration
      • PrPc (normal; α-helix isoform) undergoes conformational change into PrPsc (abnormal; β-pleated sheet isoform)
        • PrPsc is resistant to intracellular proteases
          • can further induce PrPc into PrPsc → cytoplasmic vacuoles and neuronal death
  • Spongiform encephalopathy
    • Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (CJD)
      • most common
      • can be sporadic, familial or acquired
        • acquired via iatrogenic or dietary methods
Presentation
  • Symptoms
    • rapidly progressive dementia
      • occurs in weeks to months
    • myoclonus
      • startling the patient can induce myoclonus
    • ataxia
    • distrubances in vision
      • e.g., visual field defects, abnormalities in perception
Evaluation
  • Histology
    • spongiform cortex
      • large intracellular vacuoles 
  • Electroencephalography
    • spike (sharp) wave pattern
  • Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF)
    • 14-3-3 protein
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
    • hyperintensity in the head of the caudate and putamen on T2-weighted and FLAIR images
Differential
  • Alzheimer disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Vascular dementia
  • HIV-associated dementia
Treatment
  • Supportive
  • No effective treatment
Prognosis, Prevention, and Complications
  • Prognosis
    • death typically within 1 year of symptom onset
  • Prevention
    • iatrogenic
      • screen dura mater and cornea donors
      • incinerate medical tools used in patients with/suspective of CJD
      • recombinant human growth hormone use instead of human derived
  • Complications
    • seizures
    • aspiration pneumonia
PrPsc
 

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Questions (2)
Lab Values
Blood, Plasma, Serum Reference Range
ALT 8-20 U/L
Amylase, serum 25-125 U/L
AST 8-20 U/L
Bilirubin, serum (adult) Total // Direct 0.1-1.0 mg/dL // 0.0-0.3 mg/dL
Calcium, serum (Ca2+) 8.4-10.2 mg/dL
Cholesterol, serum Rec: < 200 mg/dL
Cortisol, serum 0800 h: 5-23 μg/dL //1600 h:
3-15 μg/dL
2000 h: ≤ 50% of 0800 h
Creatine kinase, serum Male: 25-90 U/L
Female: 10-70 U/L
Creatinine, serum 0.6-1.2 mg/dL
Electrolytes, serum  
Sodium (Na+) 136-145 mEq/L
Chloride (Cl-) 95-105 mEq/L
Potassium (K+) 3.5-5.0 mEq/L
Bicarbonate (HCO3-) 22-28 mEq/L
Magnesium (Mg2+) 1.5-2.0 mEq/L
Estriol, total, serum (in pregnancy)  
24-28 wks // 32-36 wks 30-170 ng/mL // 60-280 ng/mL
28-32 wk // 36-40 wks 40-220 ng/mL // 80-350 ng/mL
Ferritin, serum Male: 15-200 ng/mL
Female: 12-150 ng/mL
Follicle-stimulating hormone, serum/plasma Male: 4-25 mIU/mL
Female: premenopause: 4-30 mIU/mL
midcycle peak: 10-90 mIU/mL
postmenopause: 40-250
pH 7.35-7.45
PCO2 33-45 mmHg
PO2 75-105 mmHg
Glucose, serum Fasting: 70-110 mg/dL
2-h postprandial:<120 mg/dL
Growth hormone - arginine stimulation Fasting: <5 ng/mL
Provocative stimuli: > 7ng/mL
Immunoglobulins, serum  
IgA 76-390 mg/dL
IgE 0-380 IU/mL
IgG 650-1500 mg/dL
IgM 40-345 mg/dL
Iron 50-170 μg/dL
Lactate dehydrogenase, serum 45-90 U/L
Luteinizing hormone, serum/plasma Male: 6-23 mIU/mL
Female: follicular phase: 5-30 mIU/mL
midcycle: 75-150 mIU/mL
postmenopause 30-200 mIU/mL
Osmolality, serum 275-295 mOsmol/kd H2O
Parathyroid hormone, serume, N-terminal 230-630 pg/mL
Phosphatase (alkaline), serum (p-NPP at 30° C) 20-70 U/L
Phosphorus (inorganic), serum 3.0-4.5 mg/dL
Prolactin, serum (hPRL) < 20 ng/mL
Proteins, serum  
Total (recumbent) 6.0-7.8 g/dL
Albumin 3.5-5.5 g/dL
Globulin 2.3-3.5 g/dL
Thyroid-stimulating hormone, serum or plasma .5-5.0 μU/mL
Thyroidal iodine (123I) uptake 8%-30% of administered dose/24h
Thyroxine (T4), serum 5-12 μg/dL
Triglycerides, serum 35-160 mg/dL
Triiodothyronine (T3), serum (RIA) 115-190 ng/dL
Triiodothyronine (T3) resin uptake 25%-35%
Urea nitrogen, serum 7-18 mg/dL
Uric acid, serum 3.0-8.2 mg/dL
Hematologic Reference Range
Bleeding time 2-7 minutes
Erythrocyte count Male: 4.3-5.9 million/mm3
Female: 3.5-5.5 million mm3
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (Westergren) Male: 0-15 mm/h
Female: 0-20 mm/h
Hematocrit Male: 41%-53%
Female: 36%-46%
Hemoglobin A1c ≤ 6 %
Hemoglobin, blood Male: 13.5-17.5 g/dL
Female: 12.0-16.0 g/dL
Hemoglobin, plasma 1-4 mg/dL
Leukocyte count and differential  
Leukocyte count 4,500-11,000/mm3
Segmented neutrophils 54%-62%
Bands 3%-5%
Eosinophils 1%-3%
Basophils 0%-0.75%
Lymphocytes 25%-33%
Monocytes 3%-7%
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin 25.4-34.6 pg/cell
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration 31%-36% Hb/cell
Mean corpuscular volume 80-100 μm3
Partial thromboplastin time (activated) 25-40 seconds
Platelet count 150,000-400,000/mm3
Prothrombin time 11-15 seconds
Reticulocyte count 0.5%-1.5% of red cells
Thrombin time < 2 seconds deviation from control
Volume  
Plasma Male: 25-43 mL/kg
Female: 28-45 mL/kg
Red cell Male: 20-36 mL/kg
Female: 19-31 mL/kg
Cerebrospinal Fluid Reference Range
Cell count 0-5/mm3
Chloride 118-132 mEq/L
Gamma globulin 3%-12% total proteins
Glucose 40-70 mg/dL
Pressure 70-180 mm H2O
Proteins, total < 40 mg/dL
Sweat Reference Range
Chloride 0-35 mmol/L
Urine  
Calcium 100-300 mg/24 h
Chloride Varies with intake
Creatinine clearance Male: 97-137 mL/min
Female: 88-128 mL/min
Estriol, total (in pregnancy)  
30 wks 6-18 mg/24 h
35 wks 9-28 mg/24 h
40 wks 13-42 mg/24 h
17-Hydroxycorticosteroids Male: 3.0-10.0 mg/24 h
Female: 2.0-8.0 mg/24 h
17-Ketosteroids, total Male: 8-20 mg/24 h
Female: 6-15 mg/24 h
Osmolality 50-1400 mOsmol/kg H2O
Oxalate 8-40 μg/mL
Potassium Varies with diet
Proteins, total < 150 mg/24 h
Sodium Varies with diet
Uric acid Varies with diet
Body Mass Index (BMI) Adult: 19-25 kg/m2
Calculator

(M1.NE.4671) A 65-year-old man with no significant medical history begins to have memory loss and personality changes. Rapidly, over the next few months his symptoms increase in severity. He experiences a rapid mental deterioration associated with sudden, jerking movements, particularly in response to being startled. He has gait disturbances as well. Eventually, he lapses into a coma and dies approximately ten months after the onset of symptoms. Which of the following would most likely be seen on autopsy of the brain in this patient? Review Topic

QID: 107137
FIGURES:
1

A

0%

(0/9)

2

B

0%

(0/9)

3

C

67%

(6/9)

4

D

22%

(2/9)

5

E

11%

(1/9)

M1

Select Answer to see Preferred Response

PREFERRED RESPONSE 3

(M1.NE.24) A 70-year-old woman with no significant medical history begins to experience memory loss and personality changes. Over the next few months, her symptoms become more severe, as she experiences rapid mental deterioration. She also starts to have sudden, jerking movements in response to being startled and gait disturbances. Eventually, she lapses into a coma and dies eight months after the onset of symptoms. What process likely caused this woman's illness? Review Topic

QID: 101688
1

Loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta.

19%

(5/26)

2

Autoimmune inflammation and demyelination of the central nervous system.

0%

(0/26)

3

Autoimmune inflammation and demyelination of the peripheral nervous system.

4%

(1/26)

4

Conversion of a protein from an a-helix to a ß-pleated form, which resists degradation.

50%

(13/26)

5

Frontotemporal atrophy and the accumulation of intracellular, aggregated tau protein.

27%

(7/26)

M1

Select Answer to see Preferred Response

PREFERRED RESPONSE 4
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