System degeneration in an MM1-type sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease case with an unusually prolonged akinetic mutism state

Yasushi Iwasaki, Keiko Mori, Masumi Ito, Yoshinari Kawai, Akio Akagi, Yuichi Riku, Hiroaki Miyahara, Atsushi Kobayashi, Tetsuyuki Kitamoto, Mari Yoshida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methionine/methionine type 1 (MM1-type) sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), known as the ‘classic type,’ shows typical clinicopathological sCJD findings. In general, patients reach an akinetic mutism state within a few months of disease onset and die soon after if supportive therapies are not administered. Here, we describe remarkable neuropathologic observations of MM1-type sCJD in a 48-year-old, Japanese man with an unusually prolonged akinetic mutism state. In the early disease stages, the patient exhibited abnormal behaviour with gait disturbance and rapidly progressive cognitive dysfunction. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging revealed extensive cerebral cortical hyperintensity. Prion protein (PrP) gene analysis revealed no mutations, and the polymorphic codon 129 exhibited methionine homozygosity. Although the patient remained stable with tube feeding for more than 2 years after reaching the akinetic mutism state, he died because of central respiratory failure 30 months after disease onset. Neuropathologic investigation showed extensive devastating lesions, such as status spongiosus, and typical spongiform changes could no longer be observed in the cerebral neocortex. Conspicuous pyramidal tract degeneration was observed. However, the regions commonly preserved in MM1-type sCJD pathology were still relatively preserved. Immunostaining revealed extensive diffuse synaptic-type PrP deposition in the grey matter. The pathological findings suggested that sCJD is a neurodegenerative disease that shows system degeneration; there are primary and secondary degenerative regions and distinct preserved regions, even in cases with prolonged disease duration. In addition, it is considered that there is a limited survival period for MM1-type sCJD, even if active symptomatic treatment is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • akinetic mutism state
  • panencephalopathic-type
  • pyramidal tract degeneration
  • system degeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'System degeneration in an MM1-type sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease case with an unusually prolonged akinetic mutism state'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this