Young Blood Jabs for Elderly to Rejuvenate Their Brains?
Although it might sound spooky, a new research claims to have made old brains lively again, with young blood!
A new research, which involved replacing ageing mice's blood with younger animals,' found out that the young blood helped rejuvenate the ageing brains by improving the connections between brain cells and memory.
Apparently, the treatment was so effective that an 18-month-old mice was found performing as good as a four month old. An 18-month-old mouse would be considered pretty old, as their life span is around 2 years.
The method, if proven safe, could also be used to cut down the ill effects of ageing on the human brain like memory loss, Alzheimer's etc.
Middle aged people could receive jabs contained donated blood of young adults in order to keep their brains healthy.
"Do I think that giving young blood could have an effect on a human? I'm thinking more and more that it might. It's not a drug that will have deleterious effects. It's just blood. We do it all the time for blood transfusions," researcher Saul Villeda told the Society for Neuroscience's annual conference in New Orleans.
For the research, scientists from Stanford University in the US 'sewed together' two mice of different ages, Mail Online reported.
The researchers connected the veins and arteries of both mice, which allowed the blood of the young one to flow into the older animal's body, and vice versa.
During the experiment, while the younger one's brain appeared to age the older one had its brain cells connection boosted and stronger. These connections are thought to be vital to the memory.
When memory tests were conducted, it was found that the old mice performed just as good as the young one and the treatment currently is being tested on animals with Alzheimer's-like disease.
This treatment, if works well, it could be even more beneficial than penicillin, say experts according to the report.
There are other studies that suggest that infusion of young blood could be beneficial for the muscles, liver and immune system. However, these studies are just at their beginning stage and a lot more studies will be required before scientists completely understand how it works and test it on humans.
It may also be possible to find the compounds in the blood which are creating this positive effecta dn turn them into a pill.
"Although this may suggest that Dracula author Bram Stoker had ideas way ahead of his time, temporarily plumbing teenagers' blood supplies into those of their great-grandparents does not seem a particularly feasible future therapy for cognitive decline in ageing. Instead this fascinating work suggests there may be significant benefit in working out what the "good stuff" is in the high octane young blood, so that we can provide just those key components to the elderly," Professor Andrew Randall, a brain disease expert from Exeter and Bristol Universities, was quoted as saying by Mail Online.
"The important questions are; what is in the blood of the younger mice that impacts the ageing process, and is it applicable to humans? Even if the finding leads only to a drug that prevents, rather than reverses the normal effects of ageing on the brain, the impact upon future generation will be substantial - potentially outweighing other wonder drugs such as penicillin," Professor Chris Mason, an expert in regenerative medicine from University College London, added.
Our findings open the possibility of utilizing young blood towards future therapeutic interventions aimed at reversing cognitive impairments in the elderly. It now becomes a promising prospect to test whether this extends beyond normal ageing towards reversing cellular and cognitive decline in those suffering from age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease," Dr Villeda said.