Is Alzheimer’s Disease transferrable? Study reveals that medical accidents can lead to the transmission

A new study has revealed that medical accidents can lead to the transmission of Alzheimer's disease

Attention India
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According to research that was published in the journal Nature, infrequent medical mishaps can cause Alzheimer’s to spread from person to person. According to the study, there is a high probability that individuals who got human growth hormone from the pituitary glands of deceased donors may eventually get Alzheimer’s disease due to hormonal contamination. “We’re not suggesting for a moment you can catch Alzheimer’s disease. This is not transmissible in the sense of a viral or bacterial infection. It’s only when people have been accidentally inoculated, essentially, with human tissue or extracts of human tissue containing these seeds, which is thankfully a very rare and unusual circumstance,” Prof John Collinge, co-author of the study and director of the MRC Prion Unit told the Guardian.

Human growth hormone extracted from cadaveric pituitary glands was outlawed in 1985

The study reveals that human growth hormone was taken from the pituitary glands of cadavers and given to a number of patients in the UK between 1959 and 1985. However, this procedure was outlawed in 1985 as a result of several patients’ subsequent deaths from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Alzheimer’s disease-related amyloid-beta was discovered in the brains of a few of the individuals. “We previously reported human transmission of amyloid beta pathology and cerebral amyloid angiopathy in relatively young adults who had died of iatrogenic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (iCJD) after childhood treatment with cadaver-derived pituitary growth hormone (c-hGH) contaminated with both CJD prions and amyloid beta seeds. This raised the possibility that c-hGH recipients who did not die from iCJD may eventually develop Alzheimer’s,” the researchers have said.

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological illness that worsens with time and mostly impacts memory and cognitive abilities. It is the most prevalent cause of dementia and is typified by the build-up of aberrant protein deposits in the brain that result in the tangles and plaques that form. As the illness worsens, people have trouble with everyday chores, memory loss, and diminished reasoning. Alzheimer’s affects independence and quality of life by progressively impairing the ability to carry out daily tasks. Its development is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, while the precise reason is unknown. Alzheimer’s disease does not currently have a treatment.

Early Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s include memory loss that interferes with day-to-day functioning, difficulties organising or solving problems, difficulty finishing familiar chores, confusion about location or time, difficulty understanding visual imagery, and new difficulties pronouncing or writing words. Other signs include mood and personality swings, social disengagement, and poor decision-making. Even though there is a wide range of symptoms, persistent and progressive cognitive impairment should be evaluated by a doctor in order to receive an early diagnosis and treatment. Planning for the future and better symptom treatment are made possible by early detection.

Age, with a higher chance after 65, genetics and family history, the presence of the APOE-e4 gene variant, a history of head injuries, cardiovascular factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, and lifestyle factors like smoking, poor diet, and inactivity are risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. There is an increased risk for women and those with Down syndrome. Although there are uncontrollable risk factors, living a healthy lifestyle may help to reduce some of them. In addition to improving general well-being, a balanced diet, regular exercise, mental stimulation, and cardiovascular health maintenance may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s.

By: Gursharan Kaur

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