What if a few shots of a young person’s plasma could halt Alzheimer’s disease in an older person?
How beautifully simple. After all, hospitals and clinics for decades have infused hemophiliacs, patients with immune system disorders or those with traumatic injuries with the yellowish liquid spun out of fresh blood and made up of water, hundreds of proteins, hormones, clotting factors and the like.
The Stanford University lab of Tony Wyss-Coray, a professor of neurology and neurological sciences, is pursuing fresh evidence that the plasma of young people may carry factors that disappear as we age and make us susceptible to Alzheimer’s and other conditions. Giving that “young” plasma to older patients may transport those factors, Wyss-Coray said, and rejuvenate the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
Results of a study of mice by Wyss-Coray’s lab were published online Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine. It is important because most previous research has focused on the impact that these plasma infusions have had on the regeneration of muscle and other tissue; Wyss-Coray’s lab not only looked at the physical changes in the brains of old mice given blood from young mice but how their behavior changed.
The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the National Institute of Aging and California’s stem cell research funding agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.