Peptides that form amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s may be transmissible, study finds

Amyloid β, the peptide that forms amyloid plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, may be transmissible through medical treatments such as blood products and surgical instruments, a small UK study published in Nature has shown.

Researchers working on iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (iCJD) unexpectedly found four autopsy cases with moderate to severe deposition of amyloid β in the grey matter of the brain typical of that seen in Alzheimer’s disease. They also found the peptide in the blood vessel walls deposited in a way that was characteristic of cerebral amyloid angiopathy.

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