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Infusions of young blood may reverse effects of ageing, studies suggest

Giving old mice young blood reversed age-related declines in brain function, muscle strength and stamina, researchers say

Blood transfusions rejuvenate mice. Could they do the same for humans?

Researchers in the US are closing in on a therapy that could reverse harmful ageing processes in the brain, muscles, heart and other organs. Hopes have been raised by three separate reports released by major journals on Sunday that demonstrate in experiments on mice the dramatic rejuvenating effects of chemicals found naturally in young blood.

Infusions of young blood reversed age-related declines in memory and learning, brain function, muscle strength and stamina, researchers found. In two of the reports, scientists identified a single chemical in blood that appears to reverse some of the damage caused by ageing.

Although all three studies were done in mice, researchers believe a similar rejuvenating therapy should work in humans. A clinical trial is expected to begin in the next three to five years.
“The evidence is strong enough now, in multiple tissues, that it’s warranted to try and apply this in humans,” said Saul Villeda, first author of one of the studies at the University of California in San Francisco.

Ageing is one of the greatest risk factors for a slew of major conditions, from cancer and heart disease to diabetes and dementia. As the population grows older, the proportion of people suffering from such conditions soars. A therapy that slows or reverses age-related damage in the body has the potential to prevent a public health crisis by delaying the onset of several diseases at once.

The Guardian