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Young blood as a cure


Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
North Manchester
The effects of young blood on elderly brains is particularly striking when you look at the brain cells themselves. When mice - like humans - age, the neurons end up looking like tired, shrivelled peanuts.
Once the brain cells from an elderly mouse have been infused with young blood, however, they start sprouting new connections to fellow neurons and become much more like those of a young , smart, mouse.

The mouse on the right received young blood and found a direct route back to the nest

Villeda thinks that something in young blood triggers increased activity in the stem cells of old mice, cells that then give rise to new, younger neurons.
Although most studies so far have been done in rodents, trials have begun at Stanford University in which patients with early signs of Alzheimer's get infusions of blood from young volunteers. So can Villeda imagine a time when elderly people with fading memories are regularly infused with blood from young people?
"My hope," Villeda says, "is that we can identify the youthful factors in blood that we want to raise and the ageing factors we have to lower. And I think that'll be a much better way, a much more controlled way."

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