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Alzheimer's 'transmittable but not contagious'

Alzheimer's 'transmittable but not contagious'
9th June 2009

The harmful proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease can be transmitted from one brain to another, new research has discovered.

Dr Michael Goedert of the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge was funded by the Alzheimer's Research Trust (ART) to find if the disease could be moved from one individual to another.

Tests were carried out on mice to find that destructive protein knots could be spread through the brains with relative ease.

Rebecca Wood, the chief executive of the ART, said this greater understanding of how tangles can move in Alzheimer's disease "may lead to new ways of stopping them and defeating the disease".

She continued: "Abnormal tangles build up in the brain during Alzheimer's and other diseases of the brain. It’s not clear how that happens - but it is clear that Alzheimer's itself is not contagious."

There are currently 700,000 people in the UK suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

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