In a striking discovery reported in Nature Medicine, a group of patients who received cadaver-derived growth hormone treatments as children later exhibited early-onset Alzheimer’s symptoms in their 30s to 50s without the classic genetic markers for the disease. This unusual presentation has been linked to hormone treatment, which was halted 40 years ago due to its association with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a fatal brain condition caused by protein transmission. Researchers now believe that the same treatment may have also transmitted beta-amyloid protein, leading to Alzheimer’s. This revelation, described as the first known instance of transmitted Alzheimer’s disease, underscores the importance of sterilizing medical instruments to prevent prion transmission and reignites debates over Alzheimer’s causation. While the study emphasizes that Alzheimer’s is not contagious in the conventional sense, it highlights a unique, iatrogenic route of disease transmission, contributing to the complex understanding of Alzheimer’s origins and propagation.
To read more, click here.
[Source: STAT, January 29th, 2024]