A comprehensive review of the CJD Support Group Network (CJDSGN) and Australian National CJD Registry (ANCJDR) was undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) earlier this year on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Health (Health) The final result of that review was posted today on Health's website www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/E8C62244C221F228CA257BF0001ED9BC/$File/CJ...We would like to thank all of you who contributed in any way to the positive outcome from this review. Human pituitary hormone (hPH) recipients were contacted directly by Health and asked complete a survey and many were interviewed. CJD families in Australia we asked by the CJDSGN to complete a very short survey conducted by the CJDSGN and the results were provided to the review team. We were asked by the review team to provide the names of stakeholders from both Australia and overseas and we understand extensive interviews were conducted. The review team was interested in the work in Australia of the CJDSGN in supporting and assisting all affected by prion disease and the ANCJDR in providing surveillance and research. They also showed interest in the collaboration and interaction of both the CJDSGN and the ANCJDR with the global prion community. The review certainly endorsed and confirmed the important roles and contributions of both the CJDSGN and the ANCJDR provide for public health in Australia and on an international level. Contracts, to support future funding, have now been confirmed for both the CJDSGN and the ANCJDR and we are both in the process of submitting an application to seek some changes to the current contract consistent with the recommendations of the review. For the CJDSGN the most important change we want to see is an expansion of our funding criteria. We have in the past been funded through a special account only to support human pituitary hormone recipients (hPH) but as you all know our scope of work is much wider than that and all Australians affected by prion disease are reliant on the work we do.Thank you again and we are confident that due to your support we will be able to continue our work in supporting Australians affected by prion disease. ... See MoreSee Less
A question we have been asked a lot recently is, "My loved one had CJD after they received the COVID-19 vaccine. Is there any relation between the vaccine and CJD?" Here are two trusted resources that address this question:
Dear all, there has been a lot of debate and questions relating to Covid 19 and vaccinations across all forums. I understand that people who carry a mutation for prion disease are concerned about having a vaccine and many whose loved one has developed CJD around the time of having their first and second vaccine assume it may be connected. My understanding is that the incidence of CJD has not increased or have we seen any dramatic increase ( no more than we have been seeing as a gradual increase in recent years due to better diagnostic tools and awareness) in cases since we first heard of Covid 19 or before we all began to be vaccinated. In our CJDSGN face book group, this has been discussed and we sought some advice from a well respected, trusted friend of all CJD families who is also a world renowned neurologist and prion disease expert Professor Richard Knight from Edinburgh UK. Below are his comments to debate in our group, www.facebook.com/groups/879976008687331 that I wanted to share more publicly in the spirit of providing answers to what are understandably concerns and fears. "Many people coming to your site are in an emotional time and may be vulnerable. They will be coming for support and any information needs to be accurate. My comments on the particular subject are:1. I do not know of any evidence that there has been a significant in common increase in CJD numbers since Covid vaccinations began. There are two caveats to that comment. Firstly, there has been a slight, gradual increase in CJD numbers in many countries over the last 20+ years. This is most likely due to better awareness, diagnosis and better recognition of atypical cases. It may well, therefore, be that a slight increase in numbers will be seen in some countries after Covid- but, if this occurs, this will almost certainly just be a continuation of the slight increasing trend that was observed before Covid. Secondly, if there were an increase in cases noted over a short period of time, this might not mean there is a real increase in case numbers-one sees fluctuations in numbers (as one would expect with a relatively rare illness) that need to be averaged out over longer periods. For example, in the U.K., in a particular year, there might be a greater number of cases than usual but then the next year, a lower number than usual. One needs to look at figures over longer periods than a few months or even over just one or two years.2. One important point is that individuals often look to life events to try to make sense of what has happened to them or their relatives/friends. If something has happened just before becoming ill, there is a strong pull to wonder if that was the cause or precipitant. This is a feature of many illnesses, not just CJD. One needs to look at data over many cases over time to determine if a particular factor might be relevant. Even then, it can be very difficult to decide if a factor is relevant. For example, when we had BSE-related in the U.K., we had illness in some who had occupational connections with cattle and the question was whether this could be the cause of their illness. However, in order to determine this, one needed to know what percentage of the population in general had such occupational connections and then whether illness was affecting a higher proportion of people with such occupations than one would expect by chance. The difficulty with Covid vaccinations is that -at least in the U.K.-around 90% or so of the age group in which sCJD typically occurs have been vaccinated and vaccinated quite recently. Therefore, virtually all sCJD cases presenting now will have had a Covid vaccination in that last few months or so.3. CJD Surveillance systems are active in most countries and are very interested in finding the cause of sCJD. If, by any chance, Covid vaccinations are relevant, this will be identified and there is no reason why this would be kept secret- indeed, I don’t see how it could ever be kept secret, given the involvement of many clinicians and scientists in many countries who have devoted their professional lives to this subject.4. Very importantly, if a cause or precipitating factor is suggested, quite aside from the observation, by surveillance systems, of cases to see whether in fact it is, one can make judgements on whether the proposed cause is likely to be relevant. The point here is that there is no good theoretical reason why Covid vaccinations would cause CJD. It is conceivable that such vaccinations might accelerate a pre-existing CJD disease process (note: conceivable ie a possible idea) but, if so, this would be true for many other vaccinations such as seasonal flu vaccines. There is no good evidence that vaccinations in the past have had an effect on CJD. Of course, if a vaccination accelerated a pre-existing CJD disease process, then the person already had CJD and would become ill anyway after a time. And, if this vaccination process was relevant In accelerating illness, then the actual illness would also likely be relevant in accelerating disease. So, given the very much greater risk of Covid, the only sensible move is to be vaccinated. At this point, I should emphasise that there is actually NO good evidence that Covid vaccines have in fact accelerated pre-existing CJD disease. I am just allowing for that possibility as it impossible to exclude it as an unlikely theoretical consideration and we should be as complete and honest as possible in our responses. And that is not the same as saying Covid vaccination causes CJD or increases the numbers of cases, which would occur at just the same rate as without Covid vaccination. ... See MoreSee Less
The highest-ever resolution imaging of an infectious prion provides the first atomic-level data of how these abnormal proteins are assembled to cause fatal neurodegenerative diseases in people and animals—and how they can be potentially targeted by new therapies.
Thank you to everyone who has donated to the CJDSGN to support our Australian researchers and assist the improvement of diagnostic tests. Even without fundraising events being held during the 2020/2021 financial year due to covid we still received $148,000 in donations for which we are all very appreciative. Our surveillance and research teams are overwhelmed by your support. We are indeed 'Team Prion'. With your support the CJDSGN has now provided 1.541 million to assist research, surveillance and improvements to diagnostic tests. All donations made via the CJDSGN website are automatically receipted with a tax deductible receipt. To see allocations and acknowledgements www.cjdsupport.org.au/fundraising/research-funding/... See MoreSee Less
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is an extremely rare and fatal neurological disease that has no effective treatment. The CJDSGN is keen to promote awareness and knowledge amongst health care professionals and support the work of the research teams with continued hope for a treatment or cure in the f...