Scientists are getting close to reversing age-related memory loss with young blood

Blood from umbilical cords may be medicine’s fountain of youth—at least for mice.

The blood from the cord that connects fetuses to their mothers during pregnancy contains compounds that scientists believe reverses some of the effects of aging, like memory loss. In a paper published (paywall) in Nature Communication on April 19, researchers from Stanford University announced they’ve identified which specific chemicals have these memory-sharpening effects. They believe that one day, these proteins may be able to help people with neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s.

In this study, the research team looked at the effects of the liquid part of human blood, called plasma, on mouse brains. The team gave shots of blood plasma from three different sources—people aged 61-82, 19-24, and newborn infants’ umbilical cords (with consent from their parents)—to older mice every four days for two weeks.

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