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The Good And The Bad: The Lowdown On Umbilical Cord Blood

Update Date: Apr 22, 2017 10:47 PM EDT

The use of umbilical cord blood has been gaining traction in medical research. A new study has revealed that it has properties that can help improve memory.

Get To Know More About Cord Blood

Umbilical cord blood is the blood that remains in the blood vessels of the placenta and the umbilical cord that remains attached to it. The blood that remains there is composed of the usual components of blood like red and white blood cells, plasma and platelets. But what makes this blood different is that it is rich in stem cells that are similar to bone marrow.

The study conducted by researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine observed the effect of blood plasma from human umbilical cord blood and from different age groups of humans and then injected into old mice. The mice were then tested on their ability to remember by subjecting them to a maze test that they already did before. The mice with the umbilical cord blood treatment performed better in the maze than the ones with other treatments, NPR reported.

What Did The Research Find Out?

The researchers concluded that the protein TIMP2 in umbilical cord blood was responsible for the uptrend in the performance of the mice. But the scientists who are skeptical of the results of this study were quick to point out that TIMP2 is found at higher-than-normal levels in people with Alzheimer's, so it would suggest that the aging process is more on accumulating the bad things rather than running out of positive things, Fox News reported.

Umbilical cord blood is currently being used in treatment of over 80 diseases. The most common use of the cord blood is for the treatment of leukemia.

The widespread use of cord blood in treatments like these is boosted by the fact that the recipient and the donor in transplants do not need to be a perfect match. It is also easily accessible in the way that once there is a need for it, the blood can be reserved immediately taking out looking for a donor out of the process.

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