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We need younger blood!

18 October 2012

We need younger blood!

According to new research changes in the composition of our blood as we get older can cause deterioration in memory and brain function.  By filtering younger blood into the body we could be rejuvenating old tissue and keep nerve cells in good working order.

People in middle-age could be given blood donated by people in their early twenties to prevent the brain deteriorating, staving off diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Stanford University researchers gave older mice transfusions of blood from younger mice and had them perform memory tasks.  The results showed that the mice who had received the transfusion performed better than those who were left to age naturally.  The mice also began to re-grow connections which had started to disappear as part of the natural aging process.

The leader of the research, Dr Saul Villeda, now plans on testing the theory on a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.

He said, “I think any sort of disease that has that component, there is a chance this might help.  What I am thinking is if we can address it earlier, when our body still has the control to prevent this from happening, then we might not have to cure Alzheimer’s, we might just be able to stop

He also gave a group of 18-month old mice eight transfusions of plasma from the blood of younger mice over a month.  They were put in a water maze where they had to find a platform they could stand on.  The untreated mice made a several wrong turns but the treated mice found the right path most of the time.

He added, “They were 18 months old but they were acting much younger, like a four to six-month-old. Do I think that having young blood could have an effect on a human? I am thinking more and more that it might.  We have blood transfusions all the time after chemotherapy and for surgery. I think now we know something happens, you can start treating it more as a therapy.”