new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD)
CJD was first reported in 1996. Since its discovery 158 people
have died from vCJD in Britain (at 2006). Worldwide there have
been 198 known cases of vCJD over this period; of these 165 of
the cases have been from the UK.
The initial symptoms of vCJD are similar to those of depression;
mood swings, memory lapses, fatigue, irritability, sleep problems,
withdrawal from social activities, lack of interest in life, and
neglect of personal hygiene. There is no proven therapy or cure
for any of the forms of CJD. Treatment is based entirely upon
reducing symptoms through the use of drugs, and trying to keep
the person as comfortable as possible.
to the World Health Organisation vCJD has affected younger patients
with an average age of 29. It has a relatively long duration of
illness, around 14 months and is strongly linked to exposure,
probably through food, to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
or Mad Cow Disease as it is commonly known.
information about vCJD see www.cjd.ed.ac.uk
2000, The Secretary of State announced the Government would pay
compensation to the victims of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease
(vCJD) and their families. Consultations were held, and details
of the scheme were announced on 1 October 2001 when £67.5
million was set aside for up to the first 250 cases. The scheme
is administered through a Trust Fund set up by government. The
total number of cases of vCJD is uncertain and the Government
has said it will review the scheme if the total exceeds 250. For
more information about the CJD Trust see www.cjdtrust.co.uk.
sourced from the vCJD Surveillance Unit at Edinburgh University,
NHS Direct and The World Health Organisation.