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Cerebellar Vertigo as an Unspecific Initial Presentation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Maham Mehmood, Haider Ghazanfar, Manjeet S. Dhallu, Eghosa Omoregie

(Department of Internal Medicine, BronxCare Health System, Bronx, NY, USA)

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e927955

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.927955


BACKGROUND: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a human prion disease characterized by severe and rapidly progressive fatal neurodegeneration. Currently, there is no cure for CJD, and death from CJD usually occurs within 1 year from the onset of the symptom, and the median survival time is 6 months.
CASE REPORT: The patient was a 63-year-old woman who presented to the hospital reporting having vertigo for the past 1 week and involuntary muscle contraction resulting in slow repetitive movement and abnormal posture for the past 3 days. A physical examination at the time of admission revealed unsteady gait, dystonia, and dysmetria of the left upper limb. There was no nystagmus on examination. Electroencephalography done on the same day showed focal epileptiform discharge on bilateral temporal lobes, which were more on the right side than the left. It also showed mild diffuse cerebral slowing. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis showed positive for RT-QulC, T tau protein, and 14-3-3. A diagnosis of CJD was made based on clinical course, imaging, and cerebrospinal fluid analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: The diagnosis of CJD can be suspected based on clinical signs and symptoms and can be confirmed after performing MRI, EEG, and lumbar puncture. Therefore, it is important to recognize vertigo as an unspecific symptom of CJD so that a timely diagnosis can be made and unnecessary procedures can be avoided.

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