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Surprising Science

Modern Vampires: Using the Blood of the Young to Reverse Aging

New research finds that transfusing old mice with the blood of young mice can help regenerate brain tissues, essentially making them younger.

What’s the Latest Development?

At a recent conference among neuroscientists, one researcher unveiled a study in which old mice were injected with the blood of younger mice. Results of the study “found that blood from young mice reversed some of the effects of ageing in the older mice, improving learning and memory to a level comparable with much younger animals.” Additional work that involved injecting older mice with blood plasma from two-month-old mice found that the old mice were able to solve mazes much better than their non-injected counterparts.

What’s the Big Idea?

One of the most important discoveries from this study was that the transfused older mice experienced a “20% increase in connections between brain cells.” Additionally, the number of stem cells increased in their brains. If the results of the study can be applied towards people, researchers hope “the technique could one day help people stave off the worst effects of ageing, including conditions such as Alzheimer’s.”  While there is a huge jump between working with mice and working with humans, researchers foresee the possibility that “people in their 40s or 50s could take therapies based on the rejuvenating chemical factors in younger people’s blood, as a preventative against the degenerative effects of ageing.”

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