Creutzfeldt-Jakob and Vascular Brain Diseases: Their Overlap and Relationships

Yacov Balash, Amos D. Korczyn, Nadejda Khmelev, Anda Eilam, Meital Adi, Ronit Gilad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Only a few case reports of stroke-like onset of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) have previously been published. We aimed to analyze the neurological, imaging, electroencephalographic (EEG), and laboratory features of patients with this very rare phenomenon. Here, we review the clinical characteristics, onset features, and clinical course variants of stroke-like CJD in 23 such patients. The median age of the patients was 71 years (range: 56–84 years); 12 were women. In 20 patients, CJD was sporadic. Thirteen patients developed apoplexy-like onset of symptoms, whereas the others had prodromal non-specific complaints. Most often the patients manifested with pyramidal signs (n = 13), ataxia (n = 9), and aphasia (n = 8). On MRI DWI sequence, all subjects had abnormal hyperintensities in various parts of the cerebral cortex, striatum, or thalamus, while EEG detected periodic triphasic waves only in 11. CSF 14-3-3 protein and total τ-protein were abnormal in 17 of 23 cases. All patients died, median lifespan being 2 months (range: 19 days−14 months). In conclusion, a complex of clinical, radiological, and laboratory manifestations of stroke-like onset of CJD is outlined. The clinical relationships between CJD and stroke are considered, in an attempt to highlight this rare presentation of an uncommon disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number613991
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
StatePublished - 25 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • cerebro-vascular accident
  • diagnosis
  • differential diagnosis
  • stroke


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