Breakthrough: Young Blood Might Be Able to Treat Age-Related Diseases

  • Researchers in London found that blood from young adults can help treat age-related diseases.
  • The scientists believe that further testing can identify what part of the blood can preserve the health of older people.
  • The findings reported a 55-year-old patient with early onset Alzheimer’s and another patient with more severe Alzheimer’s condition began to show improvement after the blood transfusion.

The University College London says that experiments involving blood transfusions from younger adults are being considered by physicians to treat age-related diseases.

Leading geneticist, Dame Linda Partridge, published a data analysis in the journal Nature saying that young blood could possibly let humans live a life without diseases such as cancer and dementia until they die. Her study involved older mice that maintained cognitive function and did not have age-related diseases after being given young blood. With this proof, she says that blood needs to be studied more intently to identify what part of it preserves health.

“Blood is the most practically accessible and therefore the most commonly investigated tissue, but it is much less commonly used in animal studies. It will be important to develop blood-based biomarkers of risk, aging hallmarks and responses to candidate interventions in animals,” says Professor Partridge and her co-authors P. Eline Slagboom and Joris Deelen.

Her research, however, was not the first of its kind. The Ambrosia trials by Peter Thiel at San Francisco used humans as test subjects – injecting old adults with young blood. All 70 trial participants paid $8,000 (£6,200) out-of-pocket to enlist themselves for the experiment.

Plasma from donors aged 16 to 25 was given to these adults. Noted improvements include a 20% reduction in carcinoembryonic antigens, which can be seen in patients who have cancer, and a 10% blood cholesterol reduction, lessening the risk of heart disease.

The research reported that a 55-year-old patient with early onset Alzheimer’s and another patient with more severe Alzheimer’s pathology began to show improvement after the transfusion. The Ambrosia scientists hope that, in the future, the elderly would receive two injections a year. However, they also implied that it’s possible that the positive effects could have been imagined by those who wanted to see results so badly after shelling out a lot of money.

U.S. research in the past suggested the ‘fountain of youth’ ingredient can be found in human umbilical cord blood, and a team in Stanford University team discovered a protein found with the plasma that can reverse the effects of age-related mental decline. An entirely different finding was found by the Ottawa Hospital last July, noting that poorer survival rates in the blood recipients may be related to blood donations from young women.

Source: Daily Mail

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