British scientists have found that Alzheimer’s disease could be transmitted through medical procedures.
A group of British scientists published a research on Wednesday in which they claimed they found evidence that one of the biological seeds of Alzheimer’s disease spread to a number of patients through a form of hormone treatment that was soon banned after. The risk of transmission was theoretical for the most part.
The human-derived hormones were used in a growth treatment, but it can no longer be used since it has been banned under the risk of contamination. John Collinge, professor at University College London, who was very surprised by the results, said that further studies are now needed in order to find out whether other procedures pose a risk. Blood transfusions came to his mind first, then the multiple use of surgical instruments.
He said that we do need to ask that question, noting that the transmission of the Alzheimer’s seed is possible, as it was shown in some previous experiments on monkeys and mice. He adds that disproving the conclusions of the study is not a wise thing to do since there is also evidence from animal studies that show the disease can be passed on.
Many experts were intrigued by Collinge’s research paper but they claim that we have nothing to worry about. Simon Lovestone, professor at Oxford University, said that hyman growth hormone treatment has not been utilized for nearly 20 years and that no other form of treatment he is aware of would result in exposure to Alzheimer’s protein.
Another Oxford professor, Masud Husain, a specialist in neurology added that the study, although beautiful and concise, is out of context with the current state of things.
However, the paper is praised as a landmark study. The findings suggested that people who were treated with human growth hormone well may be at risk of getting Creutzfeld Jacob Disease, but also of developing Alzheimer’s through accidental medical transmission.
The use of human growth hormone treatments was banned back in 1985 after scientists discovered that the Creutzfeld Jacob Disease was able to spread in contaminated tissues. Nearly 500 people worldwide have died of this disease transferred via human-derived growth hormone treatments, which was now replaced with a synthetic hormone to avoid the risk. Until now, doctors were not aware that Alzheimer’s disease could also be passed on like this.
Photo Credits pixabay