Friday, January 24, 2020

The Nature of the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Essay -- Exploratory Essay

The Nature of the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Dementia is traditionally considered to be one of the possible results of aging. Its effects are heartbreaking and tremendously exhausting for the patient as well as their family and friends. There are many factors to consider. What would be the best treatment plan for my loved one? Who would care for them? These are all very difficult decisions that impact the patient and family for years to come. But what if you only had a few months to make these decisions? What if all your loved one had was a few very short months before they were gone? In Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), the situation is just that. With no known cause or cure, CJD takes the patient and family completely by surprise. Time is precious when you see new changes arising day after day in areas such as movement, speech and cognition. How could you make them as comfortable as posssible? What could have caused these sudden changes? What treatment options do you have in such a short period of tim e? Most importantly will my loved one be able to express their needs to me? Creutzfeldt-Jakob is considered to be a transmissible dementia or transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, which means that the spread of the disease is similar to that of viruses. Further studies have shown that instead of a virus, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease or CJD, is considered to be caused by a proteinaceous infection agent or "prion" (Asher et al, 2000) that attacks nerve cells causing vacuolization, the formation of holes in the cell, and eventually cell death. To date there are no effective screenin... ...ore to be learned. The important factor during the course of CJD is the patient. We as Speech Pathologists must ask ourselves a few questions. Was the best interests of the patient met for as long as they could have been? Was the family aware of any and all support and community groups available to them during this difficult time? If we as SLP's can answer these questions with a yes, then we have done our jobs indeed. To those who involoved with CJD, thank you. Because of the researchers, therapists, and families of CJD patients, we have the knowledge we have today. This knowledge will continue to grow, providing tests, screening measures and maybe some day a cure. To live with the hope that one day another person will not have to endure what sorrows you have can be a great motivation.

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