Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis will host a half-day seminar on forms of dementia that strike suddenly and can kill an individual in a few weeks or months.
The seminar, “Evaluation of Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (CJD) and other Rapidly Progressive Dementias,” will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Oct. 23 in the Eric P. Newman Educational Center on the medical school’s campus. It is free and open to the public, Medical professionals who attend the seminar can receive continuing medical education credit for a fee.
Scientists have linked the spread of prionopathies to other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. In CJD, abnormally folded proteins known as prions spread quickly throughout the brain and can lead to an inability to talk, remember, or perform activities of daily living.
CJD is extremely rare and affects only one in 1 million people per year. It is untreatable and typically kills patients in six months. The disease can spread via exposure to contaminated blood products or tissues from people with CJD. It is not transmissible via personal contact.
At the seminar, organized by the Washington University Rapidly Progressive Dementia Consortium, medical school scientists will discuss the latest developments in efforts to diagnose, understand and treat these conditions.