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

Among the most well-known prion diseases is one that impacts cattle, commonly referred to as “mad cow disease.”

Prions are proteins that function as “seeds” of disease, prompting normal proteins to misfold into detrimental shapes.

These prions cluster together, forming lengthy fibers that eventually turn into plaques, akin to the process by which amyloid-beta and tau proteins accumulate and expand in the brain in cases of Alzheimer’s.

In earlier studies, the researchers examined the brains of individuals who passed away from CJD after being treated with hGH obtained from cadavers. Alongside the indicators of CJD, these brains also showed signs of amyloid-beta pathology.

However, since these individuals died at a relatively young age, it remained uncertain whether they had begun to exhibit Alzheimer’s symptoms or if such symptoms would have been overshadowed by the effects of CJD.

The researchers noted in the study that individual postmortem examinations of patients treated with hGH serviced from cadavers hinted at the possibility of Alzheimer’s being transmissible in this manner. Still, until this study, such a transmission had not been verified in living individuals.

So, during the latest study, the team conducted clinical evaluations on eight people who received hGH from cadavers but did not contract CJD.

Of these, five exhibited symptoms of early-onset dementia, with the onset of symptoms ranging from ages 38 to 55.

Additionally, the researchers examined the proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds the brain and spinal cord of patients, ultimately finding more proof that supported an Alzheimer’s diagnosis in two of the patients.

Furthermore, the research team analyzed brain tissue samples from a patient who passed away during the study and identified indicators of Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

Through genetic testing, they eliminated the likelihood that genes linked to early onset Alzheimer’s were responsible for the dementia observed in the patients, although they were unable to obtain this genetic information for two of the individuals.

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