What Are the Treatments for CJD Brain Disease?


Quick Answer

There are no effective treatments for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD, according to Mayo Clinic. While doctors, scientists and other health professionals have explored the use of steroids, antibiotics and anti-viral agents, none have proven curative, and doctors principally focus on preventive and palliative therapy, minimizing pain and discomfort.

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Full Answer

Acyclovir, amantadine, antibiotics, anti-viral agents, interferon and steroids have all been tried as potential therapies for patients with CJD to no avail, reports The University of California San Francisco. For patients with the inevitably fatal disease, doctors can only offer medication to relieve some of the symptoms. The drugs clonazepam and sodium valproate may help relieve myoclonus, the involuntary muscle jerks that CJD patients suffer.

While inconclusive, evidence strongly suggests a possible transmission of a variant form of the disease from cows infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, notes the World Health Organization. It recommends all countries ban the use of ruminant tissues in feed, a practice that is thought to contribute to livestock animals developing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers should avoid the use of bovine materials and, if unavoidable, should obtain these materials from countries with an effective surveillance system for bovine spongiform encephalopathy and no reported cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the WHO further explains.

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