A hospital from Portland, Maine has just confirmed that one of its patients has been diagnosed with a rare brain disease, which is highly contagious.
According to the hospital’s representatives, last week a patient with some very unusual symptoms was brought to the Emergency Room. His doctors believed that the patient was suffering from a neurodegenerative disease, but failed in their attempts to confirm his diagnostic, and send him to a specialized center in order to be subjected to further investigations.
The Case Western University Surveillance Center confirmed on Friday that the patient brought in from Portland’s largest hospital had a condition called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a condition caused by a prion.
Not only did the two institutions managed to assess the patient’s condition correctly, but they’ve also been successful in eradicating the deadly prion.
To make sure that the prion did not spread, the hospital postponed all surgeries scheduled for Friday, and the next day, and decontaminated all the surgical rooms. In addition, in order to be able to handle emergency cases, the hospital had to loan equipment from other Portland hospitals.
According to the hospital’s representatives, if everything checks out ok, all surgical interventions will resume on Monday.
As mentioned, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare brain disease caused by an infectious pathogen called a prion. Unfortunately, in most cases, this rare brain disease is incurable, and it invariantly leads to the death of the patient.
CJD usually causes the brain tissue to fall apart rapidly. In only a few days, the disease destroys the patient’s brain, by causing tiny holes in the tissue. Furthermore, necropsies have shown that CJD changes the texture of the brain, which, in the end, resemble a sponge.
The symptoms associated with this deadly neurodegenerative disease are as follows:
- Severe personality changes.
- Memory loss.
- Difficulty in speaking and swallowing.
- Brain fog.
- Jerky movements.
CJD has an incubation period of 12 to 14 months. In addition, this rare brain disease has been known to cause dementia in some patients, while other slip into a coma and die several days later.
Although there’s no definitive cure for this condition, doctors have seen slight improvements in patients after administering antibiotics, steroids, and various antiviral agents.
Image source: Wikipedia