According to the latest reports, it seems that Alzheimer’s disease could be transmissible in some cases. Check out the latest news on the matter below.
Alzheimer’s disease could be transmissible
A recent study has revealed some startling information about Alzheimer’s disease. According to the study, it is possible for Alzheimer’s to be transmitted from one person to another, but not in the way that most people might assume.
Researchers have identified a small group of patients who contracted Alzheimer’s after undergoing a treatment involving human growth hormone extracted from cadaver brains.
While this does not mean that Alzheimer’s can be transmitted in the same way as a common cold, it does suggest that under very specific circumstances, the disease could potentially be transmitted between individuals.
The study, which was published this week in Nature Medicine, has far-reaching implications for past and future Alzheimer’s research.
The human growth hormone procedure, which is now banned, was previously a common therapy for children with hormone deficiencies. Between 1959 and 1985, nearly 1,900 patients in the United Kingdom received cadaver-derived human growth hormone as treatment. Moreover, from 1963 to 1983, around 7,700 children in the U.S. and 27,000 children worldwide underwent the treatment.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a condition caused by misfolded proteins called prions, which can trigger normal proteins in the brain to fold abnormally.
This can cause significant damage and is always fatal. Over 200 cases of this disease have been linked to a certain medical procedure worldwide.
Synthetic human growth hormone has been used for nearly 40 years to treat growth issues.
“With the treatment not used since 1985, there is no cause for concern for the health of the general population,” Dr. Richard Oakley, associate director of research and innovation at the Alzheimer’s Society said in a statement.
“Nowadays, patients receive synthetic alternatives which have been approved for safety and do not pose a risk of transmitting diseases.”
According to a recent study, prions are the main cause of fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Prions are proteins that cause normal brain proteins to fold into abnormal shapes, leading to the formation of roots of long fibers and eventually becoming plaque.
This process is similar to how amyloid-beta and tau proteins spread and multiply in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
Previously, researchers examined the brains of people who had received cadaver-derived human growth hormone treatment and died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Although their brains showed signs of Alzheimer’s, it was unclear if they had any symptoms. However, other research suggests that Alzheimer’s may also spread through the same prion-seeding process, which has now been proven.