Science Cognitive Decline Reversed In Old Age - You Just Need The Blood Of A Young Person

Published on October 18th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


Cognitive Decline Reversed In Old Age – You Just Need The Blood Of A Young Person

Well if this isn’t just in time for the Halloween season and all things scary and full of vampires but it seems that a researcher by the name of Saul Villeda has discovered a way to slow down, or even reverse, old age decline of cognitive abilities.

You see if you take the blood of a youngster and inject it into an oldster their ability to perform previously confusing tasks was greatly improved.

Now before you start freaking out understand that all the experiments that were done to prove that this works was done with mice, not human beings; and what they found was that the infusion of young blood caused a number of things to happen in the old mice:

Tissue from the hippocampus of old mice given young blood showed changes in the expression of 200 to 300 genes, particularly in those involved in synaptic plasticity, which underpins learning and memory. They also found changes in some proteins involved in nerve growth.

The infusion of young blood also boosted the number and strength of neuronal connections in an area of the brain where new cells do not grow. This didn’t happen when old mice received old blood.

To find out whether these changes improved cognition, the team gave 12 old mice eight intravenous shots of blood plasma either from a young or an old mouse, over the course of one month. They used plasma rather than whole blood to exclude any effect produced by blood cells.

The mice then took part in a standard memory task to locate a hidden platform in water. The old mice that had received young blood plasma remembered where to find the platform much quicker than the mice on the old plasma.

via New Scientist

Since the study has been restricted to just mice I’m pretty sure we can rest easy about suddenly becoming lunch for a bunch of oldster, unless of course Grandpa over there starts looking at you strangely and licking their lips.



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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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