Woman dies from 'rare form of dementia' she caught decades ago from her baby when he was in her womb

The fatal disease causes irreversible brain damage and is started by abnormal proteins known as prions, which slowly destroy brain cells.


                            Woman dies from 'rare form of dementia' she caught decades ago from her baby when he was in her womb

A woman has died from a rare form of dementia which she reportedly caught decades ago from her own baby when she was pregnant. Reports state that the unidentified woman's husband died of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD) disease two decades ago and previous checkups had shown her own genes to be clear of the mutation responsible for his death. The woman, however, died from the same disease as her later husband years later, in her seventies. Reports state that the woman's 53-year-old son, whom she caught the disease from when pregnant, is also "showing symptoms" of sporadic CJD, the Daily Mail reported.

The fatal disease causes irreversible brain damage and is started by abnormal proteins known as prions, which slowly destroy brain cells.

 



 

 

Doctors, after a study of their medical history, now believe that the son inherited the mutated gene from his father and passed it to his mother when he was in the womb. Reports state that the cells from the fetus which contained the toxic proteins are believed to have traveled across the placenta into the mother's bloodstream, eventually settling in her brain.

The case, which is deemed very rare, was uncovered by a team of medics at the Danish Reference Center for Prison Diseases in Copenhagen University Hospital. Reports state that the woman was diagnosed with the condition before the disorder was associated with her son or late husband. One of the medics who came across the case, Ausrine Areskeviciute, while talking to The Times said that it is a "very sad story."

"We already know that when a woman is pregnant cells from the baby travel across the placenta and travel around her body, lodging in various organs. However, in this case, the fetus carried the mutation for the misfolded proteins, and its cells may also have had misfolded proteins when they got into the mother's body," adding that this could have triggered the process of degeneration in her brain which led to her death years down the line. Reports state that CJD is acquired in less than one percent of the incidences.

The case was reportedly published in the Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology.