Research group finds blood transfusions from young mice to old improves brain function

by Bob Yirka report
blood
Bags of blood collected during donation. Image: Wikipedia.

(Medical Xpress)—A research team from Stanford University has found that injecting the blood of young mice into older mice can cause new neural development and improved memory. Team lead Saul Villeda presented the groups' findings at this year's Society for Neuroscience conference.

The researchers were following up on work by another team also led by Villeda that last year found that when younger mice were given transfusions of blood from older mice, their mental faculties aged more quickly than non transfused young mice. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team also noted that the reverse appeared to be true as well, namely that the older mice derived a degree of mental benefit from the transfusions.

In this new research, the team connected the bloodstreams of an older mouse and a younger mouse, allowing their blood to comingle. Subsequent brain scans found that the number of in the brains of the older mice increased by 20 percent after just a few days, indicating that new were being made – a necessary occurrence for increased .

To find out if such differences could be measured in a behavioral sense, the team gave transfusions of from young mice to older mice and then tested them in a standard water maze; one that requires strong . The team found that the transfused mice were able to perform as well as much younger mice, while a similar group of older mice that did not get transfusions were much less successful at solving the maze.

Villeda pointed out in his talk that his team's findings don't indicate that older people should try to obtain transfusions from younger people to stave off dementia or Alzheimer's disease, as it's not yet known if the same results might be had. What needs to happen, he said, is for researchers to look more closely at young mouse blood compared to the blood of older mice to discover what differences in it might account for the increased neural buildup it offers to older mice.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Diet affects men's and women's gut microbes differently

14 hours ago

The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published ...

Researchers explore what happens when heart cells fail

15 hours ago

Through a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Naomi Chesler will embark upon a new collaborative research project to better understand ...

Stem cells from nerves form teeth

17 hours ago

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that stem cells inside the soft tissues of the tooth come from an unexpected source, namely nerves. These findings are now being published in the journal Nature and co ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

VendicarD
4 / 5 (4) Oct 19, 2012
Perhaps this is how Dick Cheney manages to survive.

Most believe it is because he has a pact with Lucifer. But now science tells us that he might be surviving on the blood of young mice.

Advice... Keep your children within arm's reach. Cheney might need to change his source of stem cell nutrition.

wealthychef
5 / 5 (1) Oct 19, 2012
Is it possible to "refresh" your own blood supply through stem cells or some such, achieving similar effects?
Lantern5
1 / 5 (2) Oct 19, 2012
Please, take a look at the following article and comments, is for the welfare of young women in their families: Pap smears to protect against a must cervical cancer
Tom_Hennessy
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 20, 2012
If one wants to 'refresh' the blood with NEW red blood cells , one might think blood donation would accomplish the same thing ? If a person donates blood , the body builds NEW red blood cells to replace those that are lost ?