You might want to file this one under “never would have believed it.” But yes, serious research has been conducted into what some are calling “vampire therapy” — where transfusions of young blood, according to scientists, could help find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
• Recharges the brain
• Forms new blood vessels
• Improves memory and learning
This is breakthrough research that could very well herald a new dawn in anti-aging treatments. In a parallel study that seems to confirm these findings, researchers at Harvard University discovered that a “youth protein” identified as “GDF11,” which circulates in the blood, is responsible for keeping the brain and muscles young and strong. The study also shows that this protein diminishes in our bodies as we age.
As with most investigations of this kind, the studies were conducted on mice. But researchers are hoping to begin human trials as early as in two to three years. “This should give us all hope for a healthier future,” said professor Doug Melton, from Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. “There seems to be little question that GDF11 has an amazing capacity to restore aging muscle and brain function.”
In the study, the blood of three-month-old mice was repeatedly injected into 18-month-old mice — specimens who are near the end of their natural life span. The so-called “vampire therapy” improved the performance of the elderly mice in memory and learning tasks, such as locating a hidden platform in a water maze.
If the same were seen in humans, proposes the study, it could lead to new therapies for recharging our aging brains and to discovering drugs that could help doctors better treat Alzheimer’s and dementia.