(DailyDig.com) – Researchers now suspect that a medicinal therapy phased out in the middle of the 1980s may have caused a rare case of Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists from University College London found that five of the study’s participants had received c-hGH (human growth hormones from cadavers) when they were children and that it was tainted with proteins seen in Alzheimer’s disease brains.
No evidence suggests it may spread via regular social or medical care or in the course of daily living. Because growth hormone therapy is now synthetic, there is no continuing danger to public health.
From 1959 to 1985, doctors administered c-hGH to at least 1,848 patients in the United Kingdom.
Scientists halted its usage when they discovered that some batches were tainted with the uncommon and deadly brain disorder known as CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), caused by a different kind of viral protein.
Similar to CJD, new evidence in Nature Medicine suggests that surgical and medical treatments could unintentionally spread amyloid protein, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
It is important to note that this is a very rare occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease caused by surgery or medical treatment. C-hGH therapy is no longer utilized, eliminating the possibility of new transmission.
The Nature Medicine research included eight patients who were sent to the National Prion Clinic at UCLH from London’s National Hospital. All of them had received c-hGH treatment as children, and the duration of treatment varied among patients.
As a result of their dementia symptoms, five of them either received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or will meet the diagnostic criteria for it. Another individual also exhibited cognitive impairment of a mild nature.
Symptoms of neurological disorders first appeared in these individuals between the ages of 38 and 55. According to the researchers, these individuals did not have the typical Alzheimer’s with old age association, as their symptoms appeared at an unusually early age.
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