“Young blood” reverses aging in older mice
Transfusing blood from younger mice to older ones may actually reverse some effects of aging in the brain and muscles, according to the results of three new studies.
Researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute gave older mice a transfusion of young blood, while a control group was given saline. Focusing on the effects of young blood on the muscles and brains of the older mice, the scientists found that the mice that received the blood were able to navigate mazes more quickly and run longer on treadmills than the control group. Four weeks after the blood transfusion, the researchers determined that stem cells in the older mice’s muscles and brains were better able to produce muscle tissue and neurons. The result of the studies were published in the journal Science.
A third study, conducted by scientists from Stanford University and the University of California at San Francisco and published in the journal Nature Medicine, supported and found evidence consistent with the Harvard studies.
It's still far too early to say if the process could have the same effect in humans, but the research could lead to new trials and treatments for conditions that commonly affect the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s disease.