Medicine was discontinued in the 1980s due to an uncommon instance of Alzheimer’s

Scientists suspect that some extremely rare cases of Alzheimer’s may have been caused by a rare medicinal treatment that was discontinued in the mid-1980s. The University College London group has been investigating five cases related to human growth hormone infusions from deceased donors. The results do not support the theory that Alzheimer’s is contagious; individuals without the disease cannot catch it from others. However, there are ways in which it could be “seeded” or transferred into the brain. All of the participants in the study, according to the researchers, had treatment as children using cadaver-derived human growth hormone, or c-hGH, tainted with brain proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

 

There is no indication that it can be transmitted in daily interactions or while receiving standard medical or social treatment. Since growth hormone therapy is now manufactured synthetically, there is no longer any harm to the public’s health. Between 1959 and 1985, at least 1,848 patients in the UK had treatment with c-hGH. When medical professionals discovered that certain batches of the drug included an alternative form of infectious protein that had caused some patients to develop the rare and deadly brain illness known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), the drug’s use was discontinued.

 

According to recent research published in Nature Medicine, amyloid protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease may unintentionally spread after surgeries and other medical procedures, much like chronic knee inflammation. The circumstances are extremely exceptional, the researchers emphasize—no cases of Alzheimer’s acquired from any other medical or surgical treatments have been documented. Furthermore, there is no chance of a new transmission via this pathway because c-hGH therapy is no longer in use. The UCL Institute of Prion Diseases’ director and lead author, Prof. John Collinge, stated: “There is absolutely no indication that Alzheimer’s disease may be spread between people while engaging in regular activities or receiving standard medical care.

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