Young Blood – Put Your Order Into The Blood Bank For Your Memory’s Sake

Young blood may be to way to go for bright outlook on life. Of course, we aren’t full up of that young vital fluid pulsing through our veins after we see our 30-th birthday come and go. Looking out, things may look the same, but looking in, well let’s not pull any punches, we look progressively challenged in jeunesse doreé stakes.

After accidents in which we leak, or if we want to get a boost in a cycle race, blood transfusions are a good thing. The Guardian has a news item on the work reported by Villeda et al at the at the New Orleans meet of the Society of Neuroscience (1). They gave old mice transfusions of blood from young mice and that young blood perked the old fellas up no end.

Apparently, the scuttlebutt is that Kim Jong-Il was into young blood transfusions to aid his youthful outlook. The young blood he chose, was said to be from healthy young virgins (female I assume), but we don’t have confirmed data on this. So back to mice and science.

The old mice got their shots of young blood and their memories improved and the ageing process had slowed. There were 20% more neuron connections and that’s important for a mouse if you’re looking for your cheese. It’s even more important if it’s you or me and we’re looking for our car keys.

In addition to improved connectivity, they found an increase in stem cells and that’s really important for keeping your brain plump and healthy.

The question on all your lips is of course was it the young cells in the blood or proteins in the plasma. Well, after plasma injections our old-fella mice were repeatedly tossed into a swimming pool with islands and they learned to find the islands and remembered where they were a lot better than un-transfused fellows.

Clearly, there is something in the plasma that makes them more difficult to drown. Definitely we old fogies need to sign up with groups of teens to get transfusions of their plasma just in case we fall into a swimming pool with islands. BUT it may also help us to remember where on earth we put those car keys.


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