Author Credentials

Royce Copeland, DO

Shefali Amin, DO, MSEd

Anthony Donato, MD

Author ORCID Identifier

Royce Copeland https://orcid.org/ 0000-0001-9709-5285



Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare and fatal neurodegenerative disease. The purpose of this report is to demonstrate the role of inpatient rehabilitation for a patient recently diagnosed with probable Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. A 62-year-old male was readmitted to an acute care hospital after a recent mechanical fall. For several weeks, he had a constellation of symptoms, including cognitive impairment and progressive memory loss, gait and postural instability, 20 pounds of unintentional weight loss, visual hallucinations, myoclonus, and hypophonia. After an extensive workup, a diagnosis of probable Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was made, and he was transferred to an acute inpatient rehabilitation hospital. The patient underwent therapeutic exercise, gait training, neuromuscular reeducation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and voice therapy during his 14-day rehabilitation stay. The patient progressed from moderate assistance to minimal assistance with most activities of daily living, bed mobility, and transfers at the final assessment. He was provided with a rolling walker, home health services, and coordinated care with physicians at discharge.

This case report highlights the unique challenges of individuals and their families who suffer from prion disease and reviews ways to manage these barriers through non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatment options at an inpatient rehabilitation facility. When a diagnosis of probable CJD is made, an inpatient rehabilitation facility can assist in decreasing the caregiver burden and support the psychosocial needs of CJD patients while improving physical functioning.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License