Grey matter in the brain is where important nerve cells are located, including those responsible for storing and processing information. It’s a loss of this grey matter that’s characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. A new study suggests people with type O blood may have a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related conditions due to an increased amount of grey matter in their brains. Read on to learn more about this research.
Grey Matter & Alzheimer’s
Previous research observed correlations between clinical measures of cognitive decline and a visible loss of grey matter in people with Alzheimer’s. As grey matter decreases, the brain has increased difficulty processing newer information, partly accounting for the short-term memory loss often experienced by seniors with Alzheimer’s.
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Grey Matter & Blood Type
The link between grey matter and blood type is based on a British study comparing the amount of grey matter in the brains of participants and their risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. The study, which involved healthy individuals, further separated participants based on their blood type, resulting in the conclusion that people with type O blood may have an added layer of protection against memory impairment.
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The Difference with Type O
Researchers based their findings on MRIs to determine if there was a link between grey matter and blood type. Results showed less grey matter in the temporal and limbic areas of the brain in participants with A, B, and AB blood types. These regions of the brain are often most affected during the early stages of Alzheimer’s. It’s not known exactly why type O people have an advantage, although there’s evidence suggesting blood type affects neurological development early in life. A previous study on blood type and cognitive impairment found that people with AB blood types were approximately 80 percent more likely to experience cognitive impairment or decline than their type O counterparts. Since O positive is the most common blood type, this research is welcome news for many people, although there are other risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s that need to be considered in addition to blood type.
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