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‘Young Blood’ To Be Used In New Alzheimer’s Trial

In California, people with Alzheimer’s will be given transfusions of young blood to see if improves their cognition – there’s good reason to hope it might

IT SOUNDS like the dark plot of a vampire movie. In October, people with Alzheimer’s disease will be injected with the blood of young people in the hope that it will reverse some of the damage caused by the condition.

The scientists behind the experiment have evidence on their side. Work in animals has shown that a transfusion of young mouse blood can improve cognition and the health of several organs in older mice. It could even make those animals look younger. The ramifications for the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries could be huge if the same thing happens in people.

Disregarding vampire legends, the idea of refreshing old blood with new harks back to the 1950s, when Clive McCay of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, stitched together the circulatory systems of an old and young mouse – a technique called heterochronic parabiosis. He found that the cartilage of the old mice soon appeared younger than would be expected.’

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