Guideline: Test can help make diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

September 19, 2012

A new guideline released by the American Academy of Neurology may help doctors in making the diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The guideline is published in the September 19, 2012, online issue of Neurology.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare, always fatal brain disorder that involves quickly progressing dementia. New cases appear in about one person per million each year worldwide and confirming the is challenging. People with the disease can have a wide range of symptoms. Many other conditions can cause similar symptoms, and with some of these conditions the dementia can be treated.

The guideline focused only on the diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

While several tests are available to help diagnose sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a brain biopsy is the most accurate test that can be performed on a person living with the disease. Brain biopsy is potentially dangerous.

The guideline examined the of testing for a protein called 14-3-3 in the spinal fluid. The guideline authors reviewed all of the available evidence on the test, which included samples of 1,849 people with suspected sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from nine studies.

They found that in cases where doctors strongly suspect Creutzfeldt-Jakob to be the cause of the dementia, the test can be helpful in reducing the of the diagnosis. However, the test is not accurate enough to diagnose the disease with certainty or to rule it out completely. The test has a sensitivity of about 92 percent and a specificity of about 80 percent. Sensitivity is the percentage of patients with the disease who have a positive test result, and specificity is the percentage of patients who do not have the disease and who are correctly identified as having a negative test result.

The guideline determined that the 14-3-3 protein test can be useful when the of the person having Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is between 20 percent and 90 percent.

"This means that if the physician considers the likelihood of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to be extremely low or extremely high, then testing for 14-3-3 protein would not be useful regardless of the result," said guideline author Taim Muayqil, MBBS, FRCPC, of King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

Muayqil noted that only doctors experienced in diagnosing should determine whether the 14-3-3 test is needed and how results should be interpreted.

Explore further: Creutzfeldt-Jakob, 'Mad Cow' blood test now on the horizon

More information: www.aan.com/guidelines

Related Stories

Creutzfeldt-Jakob, 'Mad Cow' blood test now on the horizon

September 12, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—A simple blood test for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and Mad Cow disease is a step closer, following a breakthrough by medical researchers at the University of Melbourne.

AAN: New guideline on how to best treat involuntary movements in Huntington's disease

July 18, 2012
A new guideline released by the American Academy of Neurology recommends several treatments for people with Huntington's disease who experience chorea—jerky, random, uncontrollable movements that can make everyday activities ...

Alzheimer's might be transmissible in similar way as infectious prion diseases: study

October 4, 2011
The brain damage that characterizes Alzheimer's disease may originate in a form similar to that of infectious prion diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob, according to newly published ...

Recommended for you

Touching helps build the sexual brain

September 21, 2017
Hormones or sexual experience? Which of these is crucial for the onset of puberty? It seems that when rats are touched on their genitals, their brain changes and puberty accelerates. In a new study publishing September 21 ...

Gene immunotherapy protects against multiple sclerosis in mice

September 21, 2017
A potent and long-lasting gene immunotherapy approach prevents and reverses symptoms of multiple sclerosis in mice, according to a study published September 21st in the journal Molecular Therapy. Multiple sclerosis is an ...

Neuron types in brain are defined by gene activity shaping their communication patterns

September 21, 2017
In a major step forward in research, scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) today publish in Cell a discovery about the molecular-genetic basis of neuronal cell types. Neurons are the basic building blocks that ...

Your neurons register familiar faces, whether you notice them or not

September 21, 2017
When people see an image of a person they recognize—the famous tennis player Roger Federer or actress Halle Berry, for instance—particular cells light up in the brain. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on ...

Highly precise wiring in the cerebral cortex

September 21, 2017
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the cerebral cortex of mammals, where, among other things, vision, thoughts or spatial ...

Faulty cell signaling derails cerebral cortex development, could it lead to autism?

September 20, 2017
As the embryonic brain develops, an incredibly complex cascade of cellular events occur, starting with progenitors - the originating cells that generate neurons and spur proper cortex development. If this cascade malfunctions ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.