New Study: Alzheimer’s May Be The Explanation for Anemia

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerJanuary 20, 2014

A new study has found a link between Alzheimer’s and anemia, proving that Alzheimer’s can affect more than just the brain. As the research team moved from the brain to the blood, they found that Alzheimer’s disease is a major risk factor for developing a form of untreatable anemia.

What is Anemia?

Anemia is a common blood condition affecting 3.5 million Americans. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, loss of energy, rapid heart rate, dizziness, headaches, and pale skin. There are three main causes of anemia that are all blood related including blood loss, lack of red blood cell production, and high rates of red blood cell destruction. However, a new study shows that Alzheimer’s may actually be a cause of anemia as well. 

The Link Between Alzheimer’s and Anemia

An Australian research team from Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health found that there is a link between the two disorders. The team found that having Alzheimer’s Disease lowered blood hemoglobin levels and was, in fact, a major risk factor for developing a form of treatment resistant anemia. The cause for the correlation is not quite clear, but researchers think it is possible that the progression of Alzheimer’s is manifesting in red blood cells and leading to Anemia. 

Improving Quality of Life for Alzheimer’s Patients

Finding the link between Alzheimer’s and anemia could enhance the quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients who could receive better treatment for the condition.  If the anemia can be treated in Alzheimer’s patients, the rate of cognitive decline for seniors who often experience a decrease in mental function, can also be improved. 

Overall, this exciting new discovery could drastically increase the quality of life while also slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s. By using a holistic approach to combat the disease, researchers have hopefully made life a little easier for seniors living with these conditions.

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Alissa Sauer

Alissa Sauer

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