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BMJ Case Rep. 2010; 2010: bcr12.2009.2576.
Published online 2010 May 13. doi:  10.1136/bcr.12.2009.2576
PMCID: PMC3047567
Rare disease

An unusual case of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)


A 49-year-old healthy white British female, not previously known to psychiatric services, presented with an acute onset of florid psychotic symptoms. Her symptoms included visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations as well as persecutory delusions. She was started on antipsychotic medication; however, her psychotic symptoms did not improve significantly in the first 3 months. Her blood tests were normal. Lumbar puncture was performed which was positive for protein 14-3-3. A computed tomography scan of the brain showed generalised atrophic changes. The history of early visual hallucinations, rapid cognitive decline and positive 14-3-3 result was in keeping with the Heidenhain variant of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD). Despite a short life expectancy as reported in literature, our patient, who was diagnosed with sCJD more than two-and-a-half years ago, is still alive. We therefore believe this is an important finding to report.

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