Aim. The article is related to the epidemiological and clinical studies on the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in Poland that are carried out in the 1st Neurological Department of the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology. In this study an attempt was made to explain the reasons of discrepancies in the process of diagnostic reasoning between physicians referring patients with suspected CJD to the hospital and the clinical diagnoses made there.
Subjects and method. 62 patients with suspected CJD were hospitalized in the years 1996-2000. Symptoms indicated by the referring physicians in justification of suspected CJD were analyzed, and the patient group with suspected CJD was divided into sub-groups according to their, final clinical diagnosis made at the Department.
Results. In 18 patients from (his group the diagnosis of CJD was confirmed, while in 44 cases same other condition was diagnosed after clinical examinations. A majority of the latter (27/44) were diagnosed with Alzheimer s disease, Huntington's disease, post-inflammatory encephalopathy, or a range of degenerative illnesses.
Conclusions. Incorrect diagnoses made by the referring physicians were probably due to their not taking into account the diagnostic criteria for CJD, particularly the duration of illness and dynamics of its course. Moreover, they seemed to have insufficient knowledge of the type of cognitive impairments in various diseases of the nervous system.