A woman died of a rare neurological disease that her son infected with when she was just a fetus while she was pregnant for decades.
The fetus transmitted to her mother the rare disease of Creutzfeldt-Jakob, which lasted all these years to develop.
Now the adult was born with a rare genetic mutation that causes brain damage that in turn causes decreased mental functions and movements.
The man inherited the pathology of his father, who died years ago. However, surgeons are surprised that the woman, who died at the age of 70, apparently did not suffer the alteration of the genes, but died in a similar way.
Specialists concluded that the mother was infected with the disease because of her son during the pregnancy process since the fetal cells crossed the placenta and traveled through the body to reach the brain.
Doctor and researcher at the Copenhagen University Hospital, responsible for this case, Ausrine Arekeviciute, explained that when women are pregnant, the fetal cells travel through the placenta throughout the body and can reach the various organs of the mother.
Today the son is still alive, though affected by the disease.
Just the medical diagnosis of the son made the doctors suspect that his mother, who did not have the genetic mutation associated with the disease, might have been infected by her son.
"There are no treatments and the prognosis is not good," said Dr. Ausrine Arekeviciute. "It's a sad story," he said. The case was published in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease can occur spontaneously, be hereditary, or be transmitted by contact with infected tissue, for example, during transplantation or by eating contaminated meat.
TEXT: RODRIGO GONZÁLEZ