There is heated debate in science about which molecular mechanisms cause Alzheimer’s disease. So far, the hereditary or environmental causes of the disease have mainly been described. But now a new study is causing a stir. British researchers report in the scientific journal “Nature Medicine” that, under very rare conditions, Alzheimer’s disease can also be transmitted from person to person.

The study is based on findings from eight patients with growth disorders who received hormone treatments as minors. Over 30 years ago, these hormones – the correct name is c-hGH – were obtained from the brain tissue of deceased people. A practice that was discontinued in 1985 when it became known that some of those treated in this way developed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a rare but always fatal brain disease.

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