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Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in Science |

Young blood, is the key to the “eternal youth”?

The study presented this week at the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans sheds new search path to “eternal youth”. Donating blood young aged mice could reverse some of the effects of age-related cognitive decline.

And is that a year ago, Saul Villeda and a group of researchers from Stanford University showed they could stimulate the growth of new brain cells in elderly mice through the of young mice.

Now the team has tested the changes in cognition by linking the circulatory systems of young to old mice. The researchers explain that once the blood of each mouse was successfully blended with other, their brains were analyzed. According Villeda:

We knew that the blood has a huge effect on brain cells, but did not know if its effects extend beyond cell regeneration.

The hippocampal tissue from old mice with young blood showed changes in the expression of 200-300 genes, particularly those involved in synaptic plasticity, the property that emerges from the nature and functioning of neurons when they establish communication and modulates the perception of environmental stimuli, both coming as they date. Furthermore, changes found in some proteins involved in nerve growth.

Not only that, the young blood transfusion also increased the number and strength of neuronal connections in an area of the brain where new cells do not grow. The team explains that this did not happen when the elderly mice receiving old blood.

To determine whether these changes actually improved cognition, the researchers gave 12 mice aged 8 shots intravenous blood plasma, both young and old mice, in the course of a month. According Villeda:

The reason why the plasma used in place of whole blood because we wanted exclude any effect produced by the cells of the blood.

Then he went to a test where mice participated in a standard memory task to locate a hidden platform in the water. The elderly mice that had received the blood plasma young found the platform faster than mice receiving the old blood plasma. Further analysis indicated that the young blood has a specific effect on the brain area associated with tasks that activate the hippocampus.

Although the study does not identify individual factors responsible for the rejuvenating effects of plasma young Villeda is hopeful that the results in time provide a pathway to humans from blood components.

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