Blood Type May Influence Alzheimer’s Risk

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerJuly 13, 2015

A new study from the University of Sheffield in Britain has linked type ‘O’ blood to a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia due to increased grey matter in the brain.

Learn more about the study and the protective benefits of grey matter when it comes to preventing neurodegenerative disease.

‘O’ Blood Type May Be More Resilient to Alzheimer’s

A recent study from the University of Sheffield in Britain discovered that blood type may play an important role in a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

To study the link between blood type and dementia risk, researchers compared the volume of grey matter in different regions of the brain to different blood types and their risk of Alzheimer’s.

Using MRI technology, researchers analyzed the brain scans of 189 healthy volunteers. They found that people with ‘O’ blood type have more grey matter in the cerebellum than those with other blood types. They also found that people with ‘A,’ ‘B,’ or ‘AB’ blood type had less grey matter in temporal and limbic parts of the brain which includes the left hippocampus — a part of the brain often targeted earliest by the disease.

Understanding the Protective Benefits of Grey Matter in Alzheimer’s

Grey matter is responsible for processing information in the brain. As people age, the volume of grey matter decreases.

As people with ‘O’ blood type have more grey matter, their processing information may be protected for a longer amount of time, thus protecting against neurodegenerative disease likes Alzheimer’s.

Researchers admit that now that we know about the protective benefits of grey matter and its relationship to certain blood types, more research needs to be done to know why there is a difference.

Professor and author of the study, Annalena Venneri, said: “What we know today is that a significant difference in volumes exists, and our findings confirm established clinical observations. In all likelihood, the biology of blood types influences the development of the nervous system. We now have to understand how and why this occurs.”

This new study supports a 2014 Harvard Medical Study that found that people with type ‘AB’ blood were 82% more likely to have cognitive impairment than those with ‘O’ blood type.

Did you know about the correlation between blood type and risk of dementia? Share your thoughts with us on these findings in the comments below.

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Alissa Sauer

Alissa Sauer

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