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A new paper published in Molecular Psychiatry seems to suggest that Alzheimer's disease can be somewhat infectious, says In the Pipeline's Derek Lowe. The paper's authors injected tissue samples from human Alzheimer's patients into the brains of normal mice and observed "what appears to be the induction of amyloid pathlology," Lowe says. This pathology got worse over time and wasn't limited to the point of injection. The researchers' hypothesis is that Alzheimer's might be a prion-type disease with protein misfolding, Lowe says, and "possibly capable of being spread by infectious particles." This isn't the first time this theory has been advanced, he adds, but it is the first time such evidence has been presented. Recent work in Parkinson's disease has also shown that misfolded alpha-synuclein proteins can spread, not necessarily from human to human, but from neuron to neuron "like an internal epidemic," Lowe says.

The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.