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close this bookFact sheet No 180: Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) - Revised December 2000 (WHO, 2000, 4 p.)
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View the documentTotal Cases
View the documentEpidemiology
View the documentClinical Features
View the documentDiagnosis
View the documentProbable Cause
View the documentEvidence of vCJD-BSE Link
View the documentOther Human TSEs
View the documentMeasures Taken to Protect Public Health
View the documentWorld Health Organization (WHO) Involvement
View the documentWHO Recommendations

Clinical Features

Early in the illness, patients usually experience psychiatric symptoms, which most commonly take the form of depression or, less often, a schizophrenia-like psychosis. Unusual sensory symptoms, such as "stickiness" of the skin, have been experienced by half of the cases early in the illness. Neurological signs, including unsteadiness, difficulty walking and involuntary movements, develop as the illness progresses and, by the time of death, patients become completely immobile and mute.