Swedish research finds there’s no increased risk of dementia if you’ve received a blood transfusion from someone with the disease.
Last year, a study claimed that there may have been a chance of developing dementia if you’d received a blood transfusion from someone with the condition. When we covered the story, scientific experts were quick to point out that it was a small study which held little weight.
Now a recent study carried out by researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has backed this up.
A team led by Dr Gustaf Edgren studied data from 40,000 patients from Denmark and Sweden who had received blood transfusions between 1968 and 2012 from people who went on to develop dementia or Parkinson’s disease.
These patients were compared with 1.4 million people who did not receive blood from donors who were diagnosed with these illnesses.
The researchers found that patients in both groups had exactly the same chance of developing a neurodegenerative disorder, suggesting that the disease isn’t transmitted through blood transfusions.
‘This study provides reassurance to individuals who have received blood transfusions from patients with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease,’ said Dr Irving Gomolin, a geriatrician from Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York, who reviewed the findings of the study.
‘It demonstrates that the transmission of these diseases via blood either is not biologically possible or, at worse, must be exceedingly rare.’
Neurologist Dr Paul Wright from the Long Island Jewish Medical Centre in New Hyde Park, NY, said:
‘The study eliminates significant anxiety that a patient may have after receiving a transfusion.
‘If indeed someone develops Alzheimer’s disease of Parkinson’s disease and they had a transfusion at some point, then based on this study, we can reassure them that it was not from the transfusion.’