First evidence of Alzheimer’s being transmitted between humans in medical procedures
Five patients are believed to have developed Alzheimer’s after receiving now-banned growth hormone treatment that was given to nearly 2,000 children decades ago, in the first evidence of human transmission of the disease.
A new study found a handful of people who received the hormones – which were banned in 1985 – had gone on to develop early onset Alzheimer’s and stroke symptoms.
The practice of injecting children with growth hormone extracted from the brains of deceased people was abandoned long ago – with good reason.
Around 200 children who underwent this procedure during 1959–1985 to treat short stature developed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease decades later – a deadly, degenerative brain condition caused by a misfolded protein known as a prion.