Senile dementia and Alzheimer’s in elderly with low levels of hemoglobin

October 1, 2014

Senile dementia and Alzheimer’s in elderly with low levels of hemoglobin

According to a study by the University of San Francisco (California – USA) there is a high risk of developing a form of dementia in elder subjects with low hemoglobin.

The research, published in Neurology, lasted 11 years and involved 2,552 adults aged between 70 and 79 years without symptoms of dementia. At the beginning of the study 393 participants were suffering from anemia. Of these, 89, that is 23%, have developed a form of dementia, compared to 17% of the other participants.

Kristine Yaffe, professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology in San Francisco and coordinator of the study said, “There are several explanations why anemia may be associated with dementia, for example, anemia may be an indicator of a poor state of general health, or the low levels of oxygen caused by anemia may play a role in the this association. A reduced supply of oxygen to the brain can affect a person’s memory and reasoning and can contribute to the damage of neurons.”