Scientists believe that Alzheimer’s disease may be transmissible through blood transfusions and medical accidents.
Researchers at University College London claim that it was possible that the “seeds” of dementia could be transferred from the brain tissue of one person to another.
Lead scientist Professor John Collinge, director of the Medical Research Council Prion Unit at UCL said “what we need to consider is that in addition to there being sporadic Alzheimer’s disease and inherited or familial Alzheimer’s disease, there could also be acquired forms of Alzheimer’s disease.
“You could have three different ways you have these protein seeds generated in your brain. Either they happen spontaneously, an unlucky event as you age, or you have got a faulty gene, or you’ve been exposed to a medical accident. That’s what we’re hypothesising. It’s a paradigm shift.
“What relevance this has to common forms of Alzheimer’s disease out there, we don’t know. Could a small percentage of these cases be related to seeds from the environment?”
He added that “No way is this suggesting that Alzheimer’s is a contagious disease.
“You can’t catch it by living with someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or being a carer. No one should consider cancelling or delaying any kind of surgery. But I think it would be prudent to do some research in this area.”