Alzheimer’s Disease Can Be Transmitted From One Person To Another During Certain Medical Procedures, According To A New Study

Marco - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

In a groundbreaking small study, researchers identified individuals with Alzheimer’s disease whose condition was actually initiated by a medical procedure.

Alzheimer’s disease is partially attributed to the slow buildup of amyloid-beta and tau proteins in the brain. This accumulation initiates a series of events culminating in the demise of brain cells.

But, a recent study offered potentially the first clinical proof that these protein “seeds” can be transferred from one person to another, inducing the disease.

It’s crucial to note, however, that this transmission happened under a highly unusual and specific medical scenario.

“This is not transmissible in the sense of a viral or bacterial infection. You can’t catch Alzheimer’s disease by living with somebody with Alzheimer’s, being a carer or healthcare worker, because the ‘seeds’ of the disease can’t be transmitted that way,” explained Dr. John Collinge, the study’s co-senior author and neurology professor at University College London.

Rather, the research examined eight individuals from the UK who received a specific medical treatment during their childhood that is now outlawed in numerous countries.

From 1959 to 1885, they were treated with human growth hormone (hGH) derived from the brains of deceased humans.

This treatment, aimed at addressing growth hormone deficiency, was particularly common in the U.K., the U.S., and France until it was prohibited in several countries during the 1980s. Subsequently, synthetic alternatives of hGH were introduced as replacements.

The hormone derived from cadavers was eventually prohibited after it was linked to fatalities from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)—a type of prion disease characterized by the buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain.

Marco – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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