Alzheimer’s disease was spread by treatments that are banned today


Evidence has emerged that the practice of injecting growth hormone into children, using extract from deceased people, may show how Alzheimer’s disease is transmitted.

This practice, which was administered to about 200 children between 1959 and 1985, resulted in some developing a fatal brain condition called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease later in life. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is caused by a malformed protein known as a prion.

Although the transmission of Alzheimer’s disease from one person to another is very rare because it requires direct contact with brain fluid, researchers believe that instruments used in neurosurgery should be decontaminated to prevent the transfer of Alzheimer’s proteins between patients.

The study monitored people who received growth hormone injections and who did not die of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The researchers found that five out of eight of these people developed symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

The remaining participants also showed signs of Alzheimer’s biomarkers and brain atrophy. These findings suggest that the early onset of dementia in these individuals cannot be attributed to other factors.

Previous research has shown that growth hormone injections contained beta-amyloid, the protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and that people who received these injections and later died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease had deposits of beta-amyloid in their brains.

This research suggests that Alzheimer’s disease may share features with prion diseases and may open up new therapeutic strategies. The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine.

The article is in Romanian

Tags: Alzheimers disease spread treatments banned today


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