[Lithium-induced encephalopathy mimicking Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease].

Rev Neurol (Paris). 2006 Nov;162(11):1118-21.
[Article in French]


Service de Neurologie et Pathologie du Mouvement, EA 2683, Hôpital Roger Salengro, rue du Professeur Emile Laine, CHRU, 59037 Lille Cedex.



Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) has a poor prognosis. Certain clinical presentations can be suggestive yet mimic a curable disease.


In the present study, we report the case of a 67-year-old man with a one-month history of progressive dementia, with myoclonic jerks and cerebellar syndrome suggesting a diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob encephalopathy. He had been treated for 9 years with lithium for a bipolar disorder. The results of the different investigations and the favorable course after discontinuation of lithium were in favor of the diagnosis of drug-induced Creutzfeldt-Jakob syndrome.


This case illustrates the importance for researching a curable etiology in presence of clinical features suggesting a CJD.

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