Case 4

A woman of 70 came to the clinic claiming that she is suffering from depression due to losing her mother. During clinical examination it was established that the patient was indeed unable to enjoy life, was depressed, exhausted, unhappy and despondent.

Other depression symptoms observed in the patient accompanied these. However, during neurological examination of the patient it was not overlooked that there was involuntary jerking of some of the muscles (myoclonus).

A neurological consultation was requested for the patient following which the Neurologist stated that there was no pathology.

We commenced the patient on an antidepressant therapy but I was not at all at ease. An EEG was requested, the outcome of which showed an EEG pattern characteristic for Jacob-Creudzfeldt Syndrome.

After establishing an EEG pattern characteristic for Jacob-Creudzfeldt Syndrome a further neurological consultation was speedily requested. The same Neurologist established that there was a change in the patient’s consciousness, following which the patient was admitted to hospital.

More in-depth investigations confirmed that the diagnosis based on the EEG was correct. A rapid deterioration and deep dementia followed, and within approximately 15 days the patient went into a coma.