An unusually presenting case of sCJD–the VV1 subtype

Tanev KS, Yilma M

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2009 Apr;111(3):282-91

PMID: 18995952


Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease caused by prions. Typically CJD presents with a triad of rapidly progressive dementia, abnormal movements (e.g., myoclonus) and electroencephalographic (EEG) changes. Recently, CJD has been subdivided into subtypes based on host genetic polymorphisms and the characteristics of the pathological prion protein. Different subtypes likely have different clinical and laboratory presentations. We describe a case of sporadic CJD of the VV1 subtype. We describe our patient’s clinical symptoms, time course, laboratory workup, structural and functional neuroimaging data, EEG data and CJD biomarkers. Our patient presented with clinical symptoms atypical for CJD. Because of that, her clinical symptoms were initially attributed to psychiatric reasons. After extensive clinical and laboratory investigation, we concluded that the patient probably had CJD. Postmortem neuropathological results confirmed this clinical hypothesis. We compare our patient’s clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging data to the data on typical CJD as well as the data on the few CJD VV1 cases described in the literature. We discuss our case’s relevance to the diagnosis of CJD.