Officials in the Ulsan Metropolitan City, South Korea’s seventh largest metropolis, are investigating a suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease  (CJD) in a 40-year-old school employee, according to local media (computer translated).

South Korea (in orange)/ Aridd at the wikipedia project
South Korea (in orange)/ Aridd at the wikipedia project

According to the report. the case was identified in mid-December and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electroencephalography (MRI) testing performed at the hospital revealed that the patient was suspected of having CJD.

In Ulsan, three people were suspected of having CJD last year, and health authorities are conducting epidemiological investigations.

In Korea, a woman in her 50s who was diagnosed with CJD for the first time in November 2011 and subsequently died . In January 2013, the second death in Korea was confirmed.

CJD is a rare brain disease that affects approximately one person per million people worldwide per year. CJD occurs when a normal brain protein changes into an abnormal form called a “prion” and accumulates in brain cells. CJD can occur sporadically, from genetic mutation, or it can be acquired. It is not easily transmitted from person to person.

There is no specific treatment or therapy that has been shown to stop the progression of the disease. There is currently no easy diagnosis for CJD. Physicians often make a presumptive diagnosis of CJD on the basis of the typical signs and symptoms and progression of the disease. Testing of the cerebrospinal fluid can indicate CJD; however, a confirmed diagnosis of CJD requires testing of brain tissue obtained either at biopsy or autopsy.

LISTEN: Prion diseases and the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation

CJD patients have a range of neurological symptoms that get worse as the disease progresses. Symptoms may include: failing memory, difficulty with walking, blindness, and problems with common activities of daily living.