New evidence: Alzheimer's can be transmitted during surgery

Scientists have found a link between patients who received nerve-tissue grafts several decades ago and the presence of a protein in the brain that is normally seen in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study supports findings published last September suggesting that people who had been injected with human growth hormone when they were children were harbouring the same seeds of Alzheimer’s disease at the time of their death several decades later.

The latest study was carried out on the stored brain samples of eight patients who had undergone tissue grafts in Austria and Switzerland but who had died from another brain disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), which is now known to have been transmitted during the operation involving nerve tissue taken from human cadavers.