Immortality Recipe

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Immortality Recipe

Immortality Recipe

Young blood rejuvenates aged brains—that’s the finding of a new study from Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Published in the May 4 online edition of nature Medicine, the study offers hope for reversing Alzheimer’s, memory loss and other brain disorders. Although the researchers used sophisticated methods to examine physiological changes in the brains of old mice sharing the blood of young ones, they also tested the older animals’ performances in intelligence and environmental navigation and reactions. Both physiologically and mentally, the old mice transfused with young blood showed strong reversals in aging.

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We Could Have Had It 20 Years Ago

“This could have been done 20 years ago,” said Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD, senior author of the study, professor of neurology and neurological sciences and senior research career scientist at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, California. “You don’t need to know anything about how the brain works. You just give an old mouse young blood and see if the animal is smarter than before. It’s just that nobody did it.”

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Brain Impairment Reversible

“We’ve shown that at least some age-related impairment in brain function is reversible. They’re not final,” lead author Saul Villeda, PhD, said.

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New Nerve Cells Production

Earlier research by Drs Wyss-Coray, Villeda and their colleagues, published in 2011 in nature, reported brains of old mice exposed to blood from young mice produced more new nerve cells than did the brains of old mice similarly exposed to blood from old mice. Exposing young mice to blood from old mice aged them and inhibited new nerve cell production besides harming their ability to navigate and react to their environment.

GPS For Aged Brain

The hippocampus seems to be most sensitive to the young blood infusions. The hippocampus forms memories, recollections and recognition of spatial patterns. “That’s what you need to use when, for example, you try to find your car in a parking lot or navigate around a city without using your GPS system,” Wyss-Coray said. The hippocampus shrinks with normal aging but erodes far earlier in Alzheimer’s disease. However, when the scientists heated the young blood and destroyed its proteins, it did not have the same effect, suggesting some of the factors at play are peptides.

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Recharging Old Brain

The hippocampus seems to be most sensitive to the young blood infusions. The hippocampus forms memories, recollections and recognition of spatial patterns. “That’s what you need to use when, for example, you try to find your car in a parking lot or navigate around a city without using your GPS system,” Wyss-Coray said. The hippocampus shrinks with normal aging but erodes far earlier in Alzheimer’s disease. However, when the scientists heated the young blood and destroyed its proteins, it did not have the same effect, suggesting some of the factors at play are peptides.

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