Researchers analysed the case notes of the first 100 patients diagnosed with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the UK.
They found that the early stages of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are dominated by psychiatric symptoms, such as dysphoria, withdrawal, anxiety, and insomnia. A significant proportion of patients also exhibit neurological symptoms within four months of clinical onset, including poor memory, pain, sensory symptoms, and unsteadiness of gait.
The early clinical features of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease described in this paper are consistent with previous descriptions, say the authors. "We hope that the detailed analysis of the early psychiatric and neurological features of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in this paper may help with early and accurate recognition of this condition."