Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Young blood for old animals helps your memory

Villeda SA et al. Young blood reverses age-related impairments in cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in mice.Nat Med. 2014 Jun;20(6):659-63. doi: 10.1038/nm.3569.

As human lifespan increases, a greater fraction of the population is suffering from age-related cognitive impairments, making it important to elucidate a means to combat the effects of aging. Here we report that exposure of an aged animal to young blood can counteract and reverse pre-existing effects of brain aging at the molecular, structural, functional and cognitive level. Genome-wide microarray analysis of heterochronic parabionts-in which circulatory systems of young and aged animals are connected-identified synaptic plasticity-related transcriptional changes in the hippocampus of aged mice. Dendritic spine density of mature neurons increased and synaptic plasticity improved in the hippocampus of aged heterochronic parabionts. At the cognitive level, systemic administration of young blood plasma into aged mice improved age-related cognitive impairments in both contextual fear conditioning and spatial learning and memory. Structural and cognitive enhancements elicited by exposure to young blood are mediated, in part, by activation of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (Creb) in the aged hippocampus. Our data indicate that exposure of aged mice to young blood late in life is capable of rejuvenating synaptic plasticity and improving cognitive function.

Aging is part of the disease process of "life"-a sexually transmitted disease with 100% mortality. However it is also a critical part of the process that drives MS. In general young MSers can cope better to the effects of MS than old MSers. This current study adds more meat to this story.

In this experiment they sewed young and old mice together, giving the old mouse a young blood supply (This is called Heteroclitic parabiosis) and this caused evidence that the nerves could grow new synaptic connections to improve brain function. 

Is this why Vampires go after Virgin's blood? 

Maybe not but it tells us that there are factors in the blood that can role back the effects of time. Indeed when they gave young blood to old mice they did better .

We know this from previous experiments that show us we can make microglia help oligodendrocytes to produce myelin and help nerves to make new connections that helps us recover from damage.

Plasma donation can be done every couple of weeks...could this be a new therapy? Is it easier to find the factors responsible...Very Interesting


  1. This is a clip of Prof Franklinsteins talk on stem cells and aging which i attended earlier this year.

    Regards as always.

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