One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fatal degenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain, causing mental, physical, and sensory disturbances such as dementia and seizures. It is believed to be caused by prions and hence to be related to BSE and other spongiform encephalopathies such as kuru and scrapie.
1930s: named after H. G. Creutzfeldt (1885–1964) and A. Jakob (1882–1927), the German neurologists who first described cases of the disease in 1920–1. Creutzfeldt is credited with the first description of the disease in 1920, although the case is atypical by current diagnostic criteria; a year later Jakob described four cases, at least two of whom had clinical features suggestive of CJD as it is currently described.
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