Young Blood Injections Could Fight Alzheimer’s

It might sound like something out of a horror film, but some scientists believe that replacing the blood of older adults with the blood from younger people may reverse the effects of aging on organs and cognitive function.

Young Blood Injections Could Fight Alzheimer's

Studies have been testing this theory for years on animals, but now, a research team is launching a new study that will look at the effects of blood replacement on humans. Learn more.

Blood Plasma Protein Found to Reverse Effects of Aging

Studies dating back to the 1950s have suggested that refreshing the blood of older adults with blood from younger adults may reverse certain signs of aging including repairing injured muscles, returning liver and skeletal stem cells to a more youthful state, and even curing cardiac hypertrophy.

Researchers believe a protein in the blood plasma called growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) is mainly responsible for the reversal in aging. When the protein level falls, the effects of aging increase.

By identifying this protein, researchers are able to give daily injections, which has been shown to have positive effects on blood vessels and stem cells in the brain — two factors which increase cognitive function.

Testing the Effects of GDF11 on Humans

Thus far, all of the GDF11 studies have been performed on mice. But, a research team from Stanford University led by neuroscientist Tony Wyss-Coray is looking to see if GDF11 injections will have the same effects on human brains.

In October of 2014, the research team will conduct 30 blood plasma transfusions to older adults who have mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The team reportedly did not have a difficult time finding volunteers for the trial because blood transfusions have been happening safely for a very long time.

Wyss-Coray expects positive results from the human trials and said that:

“Blood might contain the fountain of youth after all. And it is within us all – that’s the crazy thing. It just loses its power as we age.”

Researchers hope to see cognitive function improve immediately, even if temporarily.

What do you think about these blood replacement trials? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • Norman Frank

    Since GDF11 is abundent in people in they’re early twenties, I congeture that we only need to administer it until we rejuvenate ourselves to we are as we were once again as we were in our early twenties.

    At that time GDF11 should also become plentiful from our own bodies once more.
    Then we could age naturaly for twenty years befor we needed the GDF11 therapy once again.

    Has there been any research that would confirm my congeture?

  • Why isn’t there a simple synthesis or extraction method developed for the public to go to doctors and get injections of human growth factor proteins, like GFD-11, GFD-8, and GDF-5? We know only many outstanding benefits, and are badly hurt in fast need for help. They can be injected anywhere and repair injuries everywhere in the body. skeletal muscle cells have highest GDF-11 levels, and can be grown in cell culture kits. But how can the GDF-11 be extracted after the cell’s grow and divide?

  • Bill Russo

    It would help if we had: 1. Updates on these assertions 2. Commentaries by leading scientists and research leaders 3. Names and contact info of authors or experts cited

    Thank you,
    Bill Russo
    Tel. 347-933-3337

    [email protected]

  • ruth behr

    I’ll probably sound horribly insensitive here, but if I become a blood donor and could choose between saving the life of an old man or a baby, I’d save the baby who has their whole life ahead of them rather than simply prolonging an old person’s life.

    Sorry if I might’ve offended anyone.

    • You know it and why I never give blood

      • Chyn Fu

        Is there anyway to artificially mass produce blood or gdf11 from lab?

    • DireMouse

      I have given 63 pints of blood, I am getting older now, and I agree with you 100%.

    • Todd Miller

      Both can be done, it’s not either/or.

  • Old Lady

    This product has been cloned and, although expensive, is available. It is prohibitively expensive currently for therapeutic use.
    When does a life cease to be valuable? How much in resources does Alzheimer’s cost? It is a question of long sight and the allocation of resources. If my daughter wanted to specify donation of her blood is it anyone else’s judgement? I like babies with the best of them, but I also value the experience that has cured disease, made the wonderful products that support our life styles and that teaches our youth. You may be headed down a slippery slope.

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