Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Anemia Affects Body And Maybe The Mind

Date:
September 14, 2006
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
For older adults, anemia's trademark loss of oxygen-toting red blood cells has long been linked to fatigue, muscle weakness and other physical ailments. Now researchers at Johns Hopkins have found a relationship between anemia and impaired thinking, too.

For older adults, anemia's trademark loss of oxygen-toting red blood cells has long been linked to fatigue, muscle weakness and other physical ailments. Now researchers at Johns Hopkins have found a relationship between anemia and impaired thinking, too.

Related Articles


"Our work supports the notion that mild anemia may be an independent risk factor for so-called executive-function impairment in older adults," says Paulo Chaves, M.D., P.h.D., an assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the lead author of the study. "If further studies confirm that's true, this could mean that correction of anemia in these patients might offer a chance to prevent such a cognitive decline."

Reporting on the research in the September issue of The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the Hopkins investigators went looking for such an effect because previous studies showed that age-related declines in the brain's so-called executive function - problem solving, planning, assessing dangers, following up on important activities - lead to declines in self-sufficiency.

"Executive function impairment, which happens often before memory loss occurs, may happen early on in the process of becoming unable to carry on with instrumental day-to-day living activities, such as shopping, cooking, taking medications, paying bills, walking, etc.," says Chaves.

Chaves and his team gave three psychological tests commonly used to evaluate executive function to 364 women, all between 70 and 80 years old, who were living in Baltimore, Md. Approximately 10 percent had anemia, which was of mild intensity.

Some 15 percent of those with the worst results on all three of the tests were anemic, compared to only 3 percent who scored best. Those with anemia were four to five times more likely to perform worst on the executive function tests, compared to those with normal blood hemoglobin, after taking into account the effect of other factors that affect cognition, such as age, education and existing diseases.

"These preliminary results don't prove that anemia causes impaired executive function, nor indicate that treatment of anemia would necessarily lead to better executive function," says Chaves. "However, they are compelling enough to serve as a roadmap for continued research."

How anemia could affect thinking remains to be determined. It could be because it chronically diminishes the supply of oxygen to the brain. Another view proposes that the fatigue accompanying anemia leads to inactivity and the loss of aerobic-fitness benefits to the prefrontal cortex.

The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging and grants from the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center at the Johns Hopkins University; General Clinical Research Center, National Institutes of Health; and Ortho Biotech Products L.P., which produces a medication that stimulates the production of red blood cells. Chaves has served as a paid consultant for Ortho Biotech Products L.P. The terms of the latter arrangement were managed by The Johns Hopkins University in accordance with its conflict of interest policies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Anemia Affects Body And Maybe The Mind." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060914094938.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2006, September 14). Anemia Affects Body And Maybe The Mind. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060914094938.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Anemia Affects Body And Maybe The Mind." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060914094938.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins