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Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • New variant of CJD
  • Nv-CJD
  • Variant CJD
  • Variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease
  • VCJD
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There are several known variants of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). These variants differ somewhat in the symptoms and course of the disease. For example, a variant form of the disease-called new variant or variant (nv-CJD, v-CJD), described in Great Britain and France, begins primarily with psychiatric symptoms, and has a longer than usual duration from onset of symptoms to death.[1] New variant CJD accounts for less than 1% of cases, and tends to affect younger people. It can result when someone is exposed to contaminated products.[2] While classic CJD is not related to mad cow disease, new variant CJD (nvCJD) is an infectious form that is related to mad cow disease. The infection responsible for the disease in cows (bovine spongiform encephalitis) is believed to be the same one responsible for vCJD in humans.[2][3] There have not been any cases of nvCJD reported in the U.S.[2]

Another variant, called the panencephalopathic form, occurs primarily in Japan and has a relatively long course, with symptoms often progressing for several years. Scientists are trying to gain a better understanding about what causes these variations in the symptoms and course of the disease.[1]
Last updated: 1/28/2009


  1. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). December 9, 2008; Accessed 1/28/2009.
  2. Kantor D. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. MedlinePlus. August 6, 2007; Accessed 1/28/2009.
  3. vCJD (Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease). National Center for Infectious Diseases: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). January 4, 2007; Accessed 1/28/2009.
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