First Cases of Medically Acquired Alzheimer’s Reported

Five individuals in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) due to a medical procedure they received during their childhood, which was an injection of human growth hormone extracted from pituitary glands of cadavers. This treatment was eventually halted in 1985 due to a discovery that it was contaminated with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) causing prions, which are also linked to the development of AD. This recent study suggests that Alzheimer’s disease could be transmissible and highlights the need for measures to prevent accidental transmission through medical and surgical procedures. The study was partially funded by several research organizations, and the lead author has financial ties to an academic company specializing in prion disease.

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