Fountain of Youth?

The results of a study recently presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience indicate that blood plasma from teenagers may have the power to keep you young. Although the test was only conducted on mice, the researchers believe that it also has potential benefits for humans.

In earlier experiments, it had been found that when old mice were injected with plasma from young mice, their brain and muscle function improved. So the team decided to see if plasma from young humans had the same benefits. Plasma from 18-year-old teenagers was injected into 12-month-old mice (the age equivalent of a 50-year-old human). This is the age at which mice begin to show signs of aging, including slower movements and poorer performance on memory tests. The mice received two plasma injections per week for three weeks. At the end of that time, they were running around like young mice and were able to navigate a maze from memory much better than untreated mice.

The lead researcher believes she has isolated certain factors in young blood that could be responsible for the changes but did not reveal what those factors were. The goal is to translate the findings into an anti-ageing treatment for humans who are feeling the effects of aging on their brain function and/or cognition. A trial is already underway to test the effects of teenage plasma on Alzheimer’s patients.

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