Can Alzheimer’s be Transmitted in Humans Through Blood Transfusion?
Medical Daily Staff Writer | 22 October 2010 @ 09:46 am EDT
Researchers have found that Alzheimer's may be transmitted in humans through blood, but further investigations needs to be done as the initial study was done on mice.
A study conducted by Lary Walker at Emory University and Mathias Jucker at the University of Tübingen and their colleagues, the findings have indicated that brain plaques that resemble Alzheimer’s are formed in mice when the protein that is responsible for this disease is injected into their bellies.
It was not so long ago (the year 2006) that the same group of researchers found that they could trigger Alzheimer-like plaques in healthy mice that were injected with samples of plaque from other mice.
In their second experiment, the group had developed beta-amyloid protein in substantial quantities from genetically modified mice (similar to the plaques formed in Alzheimer’s) which they extracted from these mice when they were two years old, and injected it into the lining of the abdomen of transgenic mice. On the other hand, another set of mice were injected with healthy brain tissue.
In comparing the two groups after a period of seven months, researchers found that the mice injected with healthy brain tissue had normal brains while those injected with tissue that had beta-amyloid protein had developed plaques very similar to those found in people with Alzheimer’s.
And since the beta-amyloid was injected into their stomachs, caused the plaque in their brains, one important question has been asked:
Can Alzheimer’s be transmitted in humans through blood transfusion?
While the inability to answer this question can be attributed to the fact that this group of scientists are not directly involved with research in Alzheimer’s but with just one aspect of the disease (plaque), their peers consider that these early research doesn’t have any implications for the general public just yet.
However, Paul Salvaterra does say that "The type of [disease] they show is only suggestive of some aspects of Alzheimer's disease-related changes in the brain."
Medical Daily: Can Alzheimer?s be transmitted in humans through blood transfusion?