The risk of Alzheimer’s disease being transmitted through certain medical procedures has been highlighted in a recent study. Scientists in the UK found evidence that the protein associated with Alzheimer‘s, called amyloid-beta, can be transmitted through contaminated surgical instruments. While Alzheimer’s is not considered a contagious disease, the study suggests that precautions are needed to prevent potential transmission during medical procedures.
Study Reveals Potential Transmission Through Medical Procedures and Calls for Enhanced Safety Measures
The study, led by Professor John Collinge and his team at University College London, examined the brains of four individuals who developed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) after receiving contaminated growth hormone injections during childhood. Surprisingly, the brains also showed signs of Alzheimer’s disease, indicating a potential transmission of amyloid-beta.
Collinge emphasized the need for enhanced safety measures in medical practices to avoid such transmissions in the future. He recommended implementing stricter protocols for handling surgical instruments, tissues, and therapeutic biologics, particularly those sourced from human origins.
In a commentary for Nature Medicine News & Views, Dr. Mathias Jucker of the University of Tubingen and Lary Walker of Emory University agreed with the study’s implications. They stressed that Alzheimer’s itself is not contagious and typically develops spontaneously within individual brains. However, they acknowledged the significance of the study’s findings in highlighting the potential role of amyloid-beta seeds as targets for early prevention.
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The Call for Informed Caution and Stringent Safety Measures
The commentary emphasized the importance of informed caution in medical procedures and the preparation of surgical instruments. The scientists underscored the need for careful handling of tissues and therapeutic biologics, especially those derived from human sources.
In conclusion, while the study does not suggest Alzheimer’s is contagious, it does raise concerns about the potential transmission of amyloid-beta during medical procedures. The findings highlight the necessity for strict safety measures to prevent such occurrences and emphasize the importance of informed caution in medical practices.