Old Med Linked to Alzheimer’s Cases

(RightWing.org) – In 2022, Joe Biden became the first US president to turn 80 while in office, drawing attention to the greying of politics and raising questions regarding when a new generation will step forward. His stumbles and bumbles are increasingly raising alarm bells about aging diseases. A recent report showed a link between an old med and cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

On January 29, Nature Medicine published the results of a study involving recipients of growth hormone (c-hGH) originating from deceased individuals’ pituitary glands. Those biological, lab-altered meds had been contaminated with proteins observed in the brains of people afflicted with that aging disease.

The team of scientists from University College London (UCL) conducting the study determined that five of the eight individuals involved in the study displayed symptoms consistent with the early onset of dementia.

Symptoms displayed in four of the patients showing “progressive cognitive impairment […] severe enough to [impact] the performance” of daily living displayed symptoms of dementia between the ages of 38 and 49. The fifth patient showed signs at 55.

Three of the five patients with dementia received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis before their referral to the UK’s National Prion Clinic. The other two displayed typical symptoms associated with the disease and met the diagnostic criteria for the aging affliction established by the National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer’s Association.

The study didn’t conclude that Alzheimer’s disease was contagious. However, it did speculate that it could be “seeded” or otherwise transmitted into a healthy person’s brain by procedures like the one involving the five cases reviewed by researchers.

Fortunately, medical practitioners in the United Kingdom no longer use c-hGH when treating patients with growth hormone deficiencies. The drug was used in the UK on at least 1,848 individuals over a 26-year period ending in 1985. Doctors now use synthetic drugs to treat patients previously eligible for c-hGH-class drugs.

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