HGH Treatment Tragedy Suggests Alzheimer’s Might be Transmissible

By Roni Dengler | December 13, 2018 1:32 pm
brain scan alzheimer's

(Credit: Atthapon Raksthaput/Shutterstock)

A medical procedure transferred a key component of Alzheimer’s disease from one person to another, finds a new study published today in the journal Nature. The discovery suggests the seeds of the devastating neurodegenerative disease are transmissible.

“It is a new way of thinking about the condition,” John Collinge, a neurologist at the University of College London in the United Kingdom, who led the new research, told reporters during a media briefing.

Odd Autopsy

Three years ago, Collinge and colleagues found a disturbing collection of clumps in the brains of eight patients who had died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or CJD, a fatal brain disorder. The majority of the patients had sizable aggregates of amyloid-β (Aβ), the key protein implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, in their brain tissue as well as in the brain’s blood vessels. As children, the patients had received human growth hormone isolated from cadavers to treat various growth deficiencies.

“This was unexpected and completely out of proportion what you’d expect to see in that age group,” Collinge said. The patients were in their 30s and 40s when they died. The researchers could not identify any genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s in the patients. They did not expect to see such extensive Aβ pathology in the patients’ brains.

Collinge and team suspected the patients developed the pathology because the growth hormone they received for treatment as children was contaminated with seeds of Aβ as well as the factors that cause CJD.

Amyloid Seeds

The researchers obtained the vials of growth hormone the patients had received as children and analyzed their biochemical contents. The examination revealed the containers had amyloid-β peptides in them.

The team then injected the growth hormone the patients had received into mice genetically modified to model Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers compared the development of Aβ plaques in these mice to mice that had received a synthetic form of the hormone. They also assessed the development of the plaques in mice that had been injected with material from patients who had died from Alzheimer’s disease.

Injection of the cadaver growth hormone produced the same pathology as the mice injected with the Alzheimer’s tissue, the team found.

“We saw both plaques of the amyloid-β deposits in the brain tissue [and] … around the blood vessels, just as we’d seen [before],” Collinge said. “It reproduced the pathology and formally confirmed that there was seeding activity in these vials.”

The results mean that a key component of Alzheimer’s disease is transmissible. But Collinge cautions transmission occurred as part of particular medical procedures. Alzheimer’s is not contagious.

“You can’t catch any of these diseases through the intimate contact or care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease,” he said.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts
  • Astrid Nova

    But but … there is another theory that says the plaques repair insults to the brain. Were these plaques identified as carrying foreign DNA?

    • Kamran Rowshandel

      If the plaques are part of the healing process, then they have still shown how the contaminated hgh caused the patients’ new illness

      If you test everyone’s blood for aspirin, you probably will find that most of the aspirin is in the bodies of people who are experiencing pain

      It’s not rocket science. Just don’t do stuff that makes you feel weird if you are in the medical field.

  • Dennis Rojo

    Look into the HGH. The whole amyloid plaque causation is now iffy. They find plaques in healthy 90 year old with no dementia. But in addition to what happen to these poor souls, we are pumping GH into our food supply, mostly meat products, what damage is that causing us. Eat plants.

    • Kamran Rowshandel

      The problem with this GH is that it came from people who died from Alzheimer’s

      SOOOO HARD not to extract hgh from dead Alzheimer’s bodies, isn’t it?

      But yes, eating meat isn’t ok unless it’s pork because that species is the worst and probably if you are mean to it you get better karma

  • Spencer Cordts

    How would it be possible to find their empty hormone vials after 30 years?

    • Kamran Rowshandel

      Cadaver hgh is cadaver hgh is cadaver hgh

      Get hip or die trying to avoid Alzheimer’s


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