Can a transfusion of young blood reduce the effects of ageing ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Musicalvienna
New research has added further credence to the idea that young blood can make older people healthier.
It's an idea that has been at the center of some heated debate in recent years with scientists working to determine just how much merit there actually is to the concept that giving older people transfusions of young blood can stave off age-related diseases and improve overall health.
Now in a new study designed to better understand this effect, researchers at Stanford University have conducted an experiment involving applying blood from both young and old mice to human neurons.
Intriguingly, the blood from the young mice seemed to have a significant effect - causing the growth of several key structures and generating more synapses. The old blood, by contrast, did nothing.
Two proteins in the young blood - THBS4 and SPARCL1 - are thought to be responsible.
While the findings don't necessarily mean that a transfusion of young blood in a person would boost the regenerative capabilities of the brain, the research certainly doesn't rule out the possibility.
Perhaps there really is something to this idea after all.
Source: New Scientist | Comments (9)