IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation in Venice, shows that people with an ‘O’ blood type have more grey matter in their brain, which helps to protect against diseases such as Alzheimer’s, than those with ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘AB’ blood types.
The researchers calculated the volumes of grey matter within the brain and explored the differences between different blood types. These findings indicate that smaller volumes of grey matter are associated with non-‘O’ blood types. “The findings seem to indicate that people who have an ‘O’ blood type are more protected against the diseases in which volumetric reduction is seen in temporal and mediotemporal regions of the brain like with Alzheimer’s disease for instance,” said Matteo DeMarco.
Professor Annalena Venneri added: “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.”
Research fellow Matteo De Marco and Professor Annalena Venneri, from the University’s Department of Neuroscience, made the discovery after analysing the results of 189 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans from healthy volunteers.
In Model 1, ‘O’ adults had larger grey-matter volumes in two symmetrical clusters within the posterior ventral portion of the cerebellum. This was confirmed in Model 2. Additionally, non-‘O’ adults showed lower volume values in temporal and limbic regions, including the left hippocampus.
“‘O’ blood type is associated with larger grey-matter volumes in the cerebellum” by Matteo De Marco and Annalena Venneri in Brain Research Bulletin.