News Health/Medical Alzheimer's Transmission: New Insights
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Alzheimer's Transmission: New Insights

By Valisoa Rasolofo & J. Paiano | April 2, 2024

Alzheimer's disease, a neurodegenerative condition affecting millions worldwide, has long been associated with genetic factors and brain-specific mechanisms. However, recent research challenges this conventional view, suggesting that Alzheimer's may have systemic origins.

Transfusion and Systemic Transmission

Traditionally, Alzheimer's has been considered primarily a cerebral disorder. Yet, groundbreaking studies now propose an alternative perspective. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have demonstrated that hereditary Alzheimer's can be transmitted through bone marrow transplantation or even a simple blood transfusion.

Experimental Evidence

In their experiments, scientists implanted bone marrow stem cells from Alzheimer's gene-carrying mice into healthy mice. Remarkably, the healthy mice rapidly developed the pathology, challenging the notion that Alzheimer's is solely brain-centric.

Prions and the Unexpected Link

Prions, infectious proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases, have raised concerns in clinical interventions such as blood transfusions. These proteins can transmit between humans and even across species. Notable examples include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and the infamous "mad cow disease."

Beta-Amyloid Proteins

Recent findings indicate that beta-amyloid proteins, central to Alzheimer's pathology, can breach the blood-brain barrier. Contrary to the traditional hypothesis, their accumulation isn't solely cerebral. Instead, they contribute significantly to Alzheimer's pathogenicity.

Implications for Clinical Practices

While blood and platelet transfusions, organ transplants, and cellular therapies remain crucial clinical interventions, safety concerns persist. Vigilance against immune reactions and potential prion transmission is essential.

Conclusion

Alzheimer's, once thought to be confined to the brain, now reveals its systemic nature. As we unravel the mysteries of this devastating disease, our understanding evolves, urging us to explore new avenues for prevention and treatment.

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