The Neurological Joker Disease

The Joker is a serial killer and a super-villain. He is a dangerous madman who dresses like a clown and commits violent crimes. — Wiki DC Database

The Joker’s Untold Origin

The Joker is the creation of Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson. The character made his entrance in the Batman #1 comic book in April 1940. Ever since that date, his character only became darker and more obscure.

Among many madmen and most dangerous fictional villain, the Joker often steals the spotlight. It is not only because he is massively recognized or a beloved opponent, but because of his way to get under people’s skin.

DC Comics - The Killing Joke
DC Comics – The Killing Joke

Not much about the Joker’s past is common knowledge. Despite The Killing Joke written by Alan Moore, which the Batman fans adopted as the origin of the Joker, his overall persona and mental illness remain part of people’s imagination.

Alternatively, Christopher Nolan took the obvious and best road with his vision of the Joker. As a result, the Joker would always tell a different story about his past.

He would as well do the same with his smiley scars. There is nothing known about the man, therefore, making it harder for Batman to anticipate his next move resulting in an accumulation of crimes creating a pattern in his behavior.

Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease

For years, fans of the Joker tried to pinpoint the actual mental illness causing him to be who he is. As a result, psychosis and sociopathic are often the words used to describe him.

However, Joker is much more complicated than we think. There is a reason why Batman is continually in conflict and fighting primal instincts when facing Jason Todd’s torturer and killer.

DC Comics - The Joker by Greg Capullo
DC Comics – The Joker by Greg Capullo

One of the most plausible mental illnesses could be the Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease. Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease is a fatal and degenerative brain disorder.

CJD’s relation to the protein known as a prion — a misfolded protein linked to neurodegenerative causes. Prion protein can cause healthy protein cells to misfold, and it goes downhill from there.

DC Comics - The Joker by Greg Capullo
DC Comics – The Joker by Greg Capullo

Moreover, the CJD is not a genetically transmitted illness—only about 7.5% of people inherited it from a parent. According to studies, it can occur at any moment and without warning.

What can be frightening is the exposure of brain or spinal tissue from someone suffering from Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease resulting in spreading the condition. However, no proof is there when it comes to being in contact with blood or regular contact.

High Chances

What makes this disease a high contender, are the symptoms such as radical behavioral changes, memory problems, poor coordination, and involuntary movements.

The other symptoms are less likely familiar to the Joker, dementia, blindness, weakness, and coma. Another reason, 70% of people pass away within a year of their diagnosis.

DC Comics - The Joker
DC Comics – The Joker

When it comes to Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease, there is no existing treatment other than Opioids to control the pain. It is a disease that affects about one person in a million per year. Furthermore, it seems to target people around the age of sixty years old.

The illness came to light in the year 1920 and since then, classified as a type of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy—a group of progressive and fatal illnesses affection mammals and their prion proteins.

Senior Preferences Aside

For a moment, let’s push the fatal passing aside and the fact that most victims are seniors. Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease has many factors resembling the behavior of the Joker himself.

If we disregard dementia as a later result of the illness messing up the prion proteins, other symptoms are at play that can cause someone sane to go mad.

“Another voice in my head? The more, the merrier!” — The Joker.

DC Comics, Batman

Dementia has many levels of development, one that CJD possess is the radical personality changes and hallucinations. The Joker often seems to be someone in his head, plotting and talking to residents in his mind.

Another common symptom is Myoclonus—involuntary twitching appearing in more than ninety percent of patients, however, might be inapparent when diagnosed.

The Joker has a cane in many incarnations. He has his own set of movements often resulting in him appearing comedic. But, what if it was his way of hiding his condition?

The Royal Flush

Many mental illnesses come with a full set of inapparent pain. The list goes with anxiety, depression, paranoia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the crown jewel, psychosis. The Joker is a villain that is heartless, remorseless, and often display a laugh.

It is one that we can qualify as almost an involuntary twitch on his part. So deep in his head and depression, he slowly surrenders to dementia. Paranoia even. One would think he would result in random killing listening to the many voices in his head.

DC Comics - The Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan
DC Comics – The Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan

Now, Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease, with all those symptoms one would think is enough; speech impairment comes along. In Christopher Nolan’s version of the Joker, we see the villain often moving his tongue around. He would often mumble, or taking his time to say certain things.

Most incarnations have the Joker express himself quickly. Therefore, I cannot say this one would be for sure a symptom of his illness.

Inevitable Ending

As an overall result, Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease is a fatal disease. It comes down to the progressive death of the brain’s nerve cells. The caused being an abnormal level of prion protein molecules. Nonetheless, many of its symptoms has attachment to the Joker’s character and personality.

On a side note, mostly a sad one, some cases of Alzheimer suffer a misdiagnosis. Therefore, some patients reported as Alzheimer patients are in fact suffering from Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease. Another alarming fact is the growing number of people developing the disease when there is no treatment.

Because of the nature of the degenerative disease, it is a hard illness to diagnose. To this day, the brain is still a part of the human body that remains a mystery.

Advancement in neurology does not promise the accuracy, but an overall understanding of the brain process.

Now Some Killer Jokes

Nobody can deny the popularity of the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy. The performance of the late actor incarnating the Joker is one that no one can forget. It is also one that inspired many—not too bright—people to commit crimes.

Furthermore, we are way over twenty people who tried to pass themselves as the Joker or a Joker. This owes its inspiration to the idea the Joker is more of an idea than a person. As a result, the theory that the Joker can be multiple people is why Batman cannot find his origins.

DC Comics - The Joker by Greg Capullo
DC Comics – The Joker by Greg Capullo

The most famous story is the one of James Holmes. A man who entered the theatre at a midnight presentation of The Dark Knight and shot people in tactical clothing. Holmes referred to himself as The Joker. As a result, he killed twelve people, injured seventy, admitted placing three explosives in his apartment building.

Other people passing themselves as the Joker varied their crimes. It goes from trying to steal pills at Walgreens to burning their school down. One girl cut her mouth like her hero in The Dark Knight.

DC Comics – The Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan

Following her new smile, she lured her friend in the woods to stab her. She said she would blame it on the voices in her head.

The Bizarro World We Live In

In conclusion, the Joker has a mental illness. Either it is an inspiration from Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease or his IQ being too high. It doesn’t matter if it’s a group of mentally ill people, even. the point is that he is ill. The Joker is better in the pages of a comic book than unleashed in this world.

DC Comics - The Killing Joke
DC Comics – The Killing Joke

For over eighty years, the Joker inspired notable gruesome and abusive Batman cases showing his mental prowess. Nevertheless, the Joker is more often than he would like to believe, in need of psychological help. That is despite his mental state, most likely being fatal and untreatable.

Alternatively, what if…it was all a joke in the end?

The OCD Nerd,
Alexa Wayne


2 thoughts on “The Neurological Joker Disease

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