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Alzheimer’s ‘may be infectious’ and ‘middle classes robbed of eight years’ because of health inequalities

All the papers are leading this morning on the worrying report about how Alzheimer’s could be transferred from one person to another – or as The Independent says, ‘may be infectious’.

The paper says a ‘disturbing’ study raises questions about common medical procedures, including blood transfusions and invasive dental treatment, after it showed ‘seeds’ of diseased tissue were transmissable.

Professor John Collinge, head of neurodegenerative diseases at University College London, said: ‘What we need to consider is that in addition to there being sporadic Alzheimer’s disease and inherited or familial Alzheimer’s disease, there could also be acquired forms of Alzheimer’s disease.’

However he added: ‘It’s important to emphasise that this relates to a very special situation where people have been injected essentially with extracts of human tissue. In no way are we suggesting that Alzheimer’s is a contagious disease. You cannot catch Alzheimer’s disease by living with or caring for someone with the disease.’

Elsewhere, the ‘middle classes are being robbed of eight years’ of active life because of societal inequalities, reports the Telegraph.

Ths story is based on comments form the incoming president of the World Health Association, Sir Michael Marmot, who calculated that 200,000 people a year – or 550 people a day – die prematurely in the UK because of the health gap ‘between a small elite and the rest’.