Vishal Gulati

Can you catch Alzheimer’s disease during surgery?

September 11, 2015

Lots of crazy reporting today about people catching Alzheimer’s during surgery. Some shameless outlets engaging in downright scaremongering as usual.

So what are the facts:

  • Professor John Collinge, a world leading scientist in prion diseases (eg: mad cow disease) which spreads via a rogue protein and his group dissected a bunch of brains of people who had contracted prion disease similar to CJD.
  • In some of these brains they saw some structures that resemble the brain of people with Alzheimer’
  • None of these patients actually had Alzheimer’s
  • If I wrote the headline I would have said “Prion disease can show amyloid deposits in brain” but then my job does not depend upon promoting my research 🙂


People might be able to contract Alzheimer’s during certain medical procedures, just like they can catch the brain disease CJD, say researchers.

Source: ‘Transmittable Alzheimer’s’ concept raised – BBC News