A study into proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease has flagged the contamination of surgical instruments during brain operations, after researchers found that the proteins could potentially be transmitted.
- For the current study, the researchers tracked down old stocks of the growth hormone and found some of the samples to contain significant levels of beta-amyloid proteins and tau proteins — presence of both these proteins is crucial for diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
- In further experiments, the team injected the contaminated hormones into the brain of mice that had been genetically modified. The mice brain later developed clumps of protein typical of Alzheimer’s.
- These findings support the hypothesis that beta-amyloid proteins were accidentally transmitted to patients through this medical treatment, which is now defunct.
- It is well known that the abnormal proteins seen in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have been transmitted between patients by certain medical and surgical procedures. We have been investigating whether the same can be true for amyloid beta.