Alzheimer’s risk in hormone therapy recipients

Feb 9, 2024

A small group of patients treated with contaminated cadaveric pituitary-derived growth hormone, containing amyloid-beta seeds, developed Alzheimer’s disease years later, highlighting a potential treatment-induced route of Alzheimer’s transmission and emphasizing the importance of careful evaluation in biological treatments related to ageing and longevity.

January 2024 – Nature Medicine


Key findings


  • Contaminated hormone treatments and Alzheimer’s risk: Treatments with cadaveric pituitary-derived growth hormone contaminated with amyloid-beta seeds have been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease many years post-treatment. This highlights the importance of vigilance and safety in medical treatments and their long-term implications on cognitive health
  • Transmission pathway for Alzheimer’s: The presence of amyloid-beta seeds in growth hormone preparations points to a novel pathway for Alzheimer’s disease transmission. This discovery challenges previous understandings of how Alzheimer’s disease might spread, suggesting that biological treatments could carry unforeseen risks
  • Alzheimer’s as a transmissible disease: The findings from patients developing Alzheimer’s following specific medical treatments indicate that, under certain conditions, Alzheimer’s could be considered transmissible. This revelation calls for a reevaluation of how we understand, treat, and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the context of iatrogenic exposures
  • Safety protocols in biological treatments: The study’s implications stress the need for rigorous safety measures, quality control, and comprehensive screening in the development and administration of biological treatments. Ensuring the safety of these treatments is paramount to preventing potential long-term health risks, particularly for diseases related to ageing and longevity, safeguarding public health against similar iatrogenic disease transmission scenarios


Read the article at: Banerjee, G., Farmer, S.F., Hyare, H. et al. Iatrogenic Alzheimer’s disease in recipients of cadaveric pituitary-derived growth hormone. Nat Med (2024).