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Alzheimer-type brain pathology after transplantation of dura mater

Up to now Alzheimer’s disease has not been recognised as transmissible. Now researchers at the University of Zurich and the Medical University Vienna demonstrated Alzheimer-type pathology in brains of recipients of dura mater grafts who died later from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by progressive dementia and brain plaques consisting of the A? protein. Conventional wisdom has it that AD is not a transmissible disease. However, plaques recovered from brains of AD patients were repeatedly found to induce further plaques when injected into the brains of laboratory mice, suggesting that transmission may actually occur.

Brown colored A? plaques in the cerebral cortex in Alzheimer's disease
Brown colored A? plaques in the cerebral cortex in Alzheimer’s disease
Image: University Hospital Zurich