RSS Feed Print
Young Blood Transfusion Improves Cognition?
Myriam
Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2014 8:58 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


Lane and others, what are your thoughts about this: 

  

This October, a clinical trial is set to begin in which patients with Alzheimer’s disease will be given blood from younger people in the hope that it will improve their cognition. 

 

While this may sound a little odd, there is method behind the madness. Several previous studies in mice have demonstrated the rejuvenating capabilities of young mouse blood. Old mice given young blood showed improvements in the health of various organs, and one study even found that it can improve cognitive function. 

 

Taking this one step further, Stanford scientists injected blood plasma from young humans into old mice, and it was found to have the same rejuvenating benefits as young mouse blood. 

 

“We saw these astounding effects,” lead researcher Tony Wyss-Coray told New Scientist. “The human blood had beneficial effects on every organ we’ve studied so far.” 

 

Scientists discovered that a blood protein called growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) is a key player in this rejuvenation process. GDF11 levels decrease with age in both mice and humans, but scientists aren’t sure why this happens. Researchers therefore wondered whether boosting GDF11 levels in humans would have similar rejuvenating effects in older people, so they designed a clinical trial to find out. 

 

The trial will involve giving blood plasma donated by people under the age of 30 to patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Cognitive function will be assessed both before and after the transfusion, and family members or carers will be asked to report any improvements. 

 

According to Wyss-Coray, gaining approval for the trial was relatively straightforward since blood transfusions are performed all the time in medicine. Given the impressive track record of young blood in mice, the researchers hopeful that they will see rapid improvements, but we know all too well that what happens in animals does not necessarily reflect what happens in humans. 

 

While the idea may sound great, experts in the field have pointed out that even if the trial yields promising results, the treatment is not viable in the long term given the large quantities of blood required. However, researchers may be able to avoid this excessive demand for blood if they are able to identify the components of human blood that are mediating the positive effects. 

 

“It would be great if we could identify several factors that we could boost in older people,” Wyss-Coray said. “Then we might be able to make a drug that does the same thing. We also want to know what organ in the body produces these factors. If we knew that, maybe we could stimulate that tissue in older people.” 

 

While we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves just yet, Wyss-Coray believes that this kind of treatment could potentially be useful in a number of diseases. “Blood might contain the fountain of youth after all,” he says. “And it is within us all- that’s the crazy thing. It just loses its power as we age.” 


Read more at http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/alzheimers-patients-be-given-young-blood-clinical-trial#Gvtm8dzIDbGxwyg6.99
 
 


Lane Simonian
Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2014 10:56 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4629


I hope that you might get some more input from elsewhere, Myriam.  When I don't comment on stories it usually means I cannot figure out the mechanism. My guess here would be that most young blood would contain less inflammatory factors and factors causing oxidative damage than most older blood.  I don't think GDF11 is the right mechanism because some studies suggest it might decrease the regeneration of neurons.
Myriam
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 2:14 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


Thanks, Lane!
onward
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 11:26 AM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 217


 

 

Myriam, thanks for posting.  Like you, I find this very interesting.  It's encouraging to see that they're finally doing a clinical trial.

 

Here's more information on this that I managed to dig up a couple years ago:

 

http://www.alzconnected.org/discussion.aspx?g=posts&t=2147492845 

 

 

Here are a few of the interesting quotes from that thread:

 

 

Though the mechanisms remain to be determined, “the good news from this report is that neural stem cells in the aging brain do not undergo irreversible decline and can respond to a favourable environment,”  

 

http://www.alzforum.org/new/detail.asp?id=2885 

 

 

 

"A clinician at a recent conference told me there are case reports of people showing cognitive improvement after receiving blood transfusions for unrelated conditions," 


http://www.research.va.gov/currents/sept11/sept11-04.cfm [Sorry, this link no longer seems to work, and I can't find a new link for this quote.]

 

 

Just an observation: My 86-year-old father with Alzheimer's onset in 2006 had a gastrointestinal bleed and received 11 units of packed cells. After the first six units, his short-term memory improved significantly. He was able to read news articles and explain them 30 minutes later. Remembered visitors and their conversations. Did not repeat himself or ask the same questions repeatedly. Now at three weeks out from the last transfusion and no active bleeding, the short-term memory has returned to baseline, i.e., very poor. Coincidence, maybe, but it was nice to have "real" Dad back for a while. 

  

http://www.alzforum.org/new/detail.asp?id=2885 

 


onward
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 11:30 AM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 217


 

More quotes from this thread:

 

http://www.alzconnected.org/discussion.aspx?g=posts&t=2147492845 

 

 

 

… These results suggest that chemicals found in the blood of old mice inhibit the generation of new brain cells, whereas chemicals in the blood of young mice promote it.

 

… CCL11, decreased neurogenesis when injected into the bloodstream of young mice or directly into the hippocampus, but this effect was abolished when it was administered with a neutralizing antibody.

 

… these results show that age-related changes in the composition of blood are linked to the decline in adult neurogenesis that occurs with age.

  

The researchers plan to use a similar approach to identify the proteins in young blood that stimulate neurogenesis.

  

They also suggest that these rejuvenating factors have the potential to alleviate the decline in cognitive function that occurs with ageing.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/neurophilosophy/2011/sep/05/young-blood-rejuvenates-old-brains 

 

 

 

 

 


wern
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 1:25 PM
Joined: 8/26/2014
Posts: 6


Are there clinical trials in Florida using young blood plasma? Are there private labs where I can purchase young blood plasma? I would then have the transfusions done according to standard protocols.
wern
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 1:35 PM
Joined: 8/26/2014
Posts: 6


     I forgot to mention that my father passed away from this disease. He recieved on several occasions in the hospital blood transfusions that caused dramatic improvements in his short term memory and long term memory. At the time this occured neither I nor the doctors could explain the reason for the change.

     I believe in hindsight that the blood transfusions he recieved caused this improvement. My mother has moderate dementia with short term memory being the main problem.


onward
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 1:44 PM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 217


 

 

wern wrote:

     I forgot to mention that my father passed away from this disease. He recieved on several occasions in the hospital blood transfusions that caused dramatic improvements in his short term memory and long term memory. At the time this occured neither I nor the doctors could explain the reason for the change.

     I believe in hindsight that the blood transfusions he recieved caused this improvement.

 

 

Wern, when your father had a transfusion, how long did the memory improvement last?



wern
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 1:53 PM
Joined: 8/26/2014
Posts: 6


      I also forgot to mention that this improvement occured with 2 units of blood. I am assuming that a unit of blood is a bag of blood.He was given the blood because of a slightly low hemoglobin level, there was a hospital policy concerning hospital discharges of patients and there hemoglobin levels.

     

      

   


wern
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 1:59 PM
Joined: 8/26/2014
Posts: 6


As I recall, his memory improvements ranged from a month to 3 months. I will try to find my notes concerning my father as I tested his memory and kept them in notebook.
Myriam
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 9:41 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


It would be great if a synthetic form of "young blood" could be developed for regular transfusion. But it would be better yet if the reason why "young blood" works and a treatment, short of regular transfusion, is developed.
Lane Simonian
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 10:50 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4629


Great, great point, Myriam.  I agree wholeheartedly.  Welcome back, onward and welcome wern: yes, very interesting information.
wern
Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 4:09 AM
Joined: 8/26/2014
Posts: 6


Myriam wrote:
It would be great if a synthetic form of "young blood" could be developed for regular transfusion. But it would be better yet if the reason why "young blood" works and a treatment, short of regular transfusion, is developed. 

  I also agree that if "young blood plasma" holds the key or a key to stopping or slowing this horrific disease then those factors or factor should be discovered and synthetically produced.

   In the meantime as a temporary stopgap treatment the usage of actual young blood plasma might save loved ones the indignity and terror of this horrible condition. There are risks in blood plasma transfusions but the risks can be managed and assessed by that patient, by that patients physician and qualified health care professionals. Blood plasma transfusions are old tech and the proper protocols have been established.

    I took care of my father and watched helplessly as he was robbed of his dignity,identity and life. For my father Aricept and Namenda were of little benefit.

    The dramatic improvements to normalcy I witnessed in my unqualified opinion occurred during and after hospitalizations where he received blood transfusions.

     I will ask my mother's physician tomorrow about her receiving young blood plasma.

     If I find a way of getting her young blood plasma, I will report back to you my unqualified opinion as to the results. I have to try before my mother gets worse and dies.


wern
Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 5:05 AM
Joined: 8/26/2014
Posts: 6


onward wrote:

 

 

wern wrote:

     I forgot to mention that my father passed away from this disease. He recieved on several occasions in the hospital blood transfusions that caused dramatic improvements in his short term memory and long term memory. At the time this occured neither I nor the doctors could explain the reason for the change.

     I believe in hindsight that the blood transfusions he recieved caused this improvement.

 

 

Wern, when your father had a transfusion, how long did the memory improvement last?


 

iii 

     I found some of my notes and the dramatic memory improvements lasted from about a month to close to four months. The improvement was in both short term and long term memory.

     As an example, my father read the bible every night for as long as I remember and when my sister was reading some scriptures to him after he had become blind, he from memory quoted and continued reciting the scriptures at length to my sister from memory.He told my sister he remembered them and my sister said his memory was accurate to the word.


onward
Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 8:19 AM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 217


Thanks very much, Wern, Myriam and Lane.

  

Wern, I'm so sorry that your father had to go through this awful illness, though it's wonderful to know that he could still, at times, remember and quote the Scriptures.  I'm sure that was a comfort and blessing to him.  We all wish you success in your quest to help your mother. 

 

  

Btw, this Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray who's doing the clinical trial -

  

 

"... has co-founded a biotechnology company, Alkahest, to explore the therapeutic implications of the new study's  findings."

 

http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2014/05/infusion-of-young-blood-recharges-brains-of-old-mice-study-finds.html 

 

 

"Wyss-Coray has launched a start-up company, Alkahest, and is planning to start the first young blood trial this year on Alzheimer’s patients,"

 

http://blog.aarp.org/2014/05/06/can-young-blood-reverse-aging-in-older-brains/ 

 

 

 

Here's how to contact Dr. Wyss-Coray:

 

http://web.stanford.edu/group/twclab/cgi-bin/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=3 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


Doug-S
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2017 11:30 PM
Joined: 1/14/2017
Posts: 1


my mother-in-law, who has late stage Alzheimers, was hospitalized for anemia last year. At this point, she is incoherent virtually all the time. After the blood transfusions, once she was released and rested, back at home, we were amazed that she was able to carry on conversations again. It faded back into incoherency over the weeks that followed, but, to our collective shock, she was still capable of coherent thoughts!

Left us wondering if there was any research being done regarding blood transfusions. It has been the most positive change since she's been diagnosed. Better than any of the Rx.


ALZConnected Moderator
Posted: Friday, April 28, 2017 5:18 AM
Joined: 8/17/2011
Posts: 166


ALZConnected Moderator has removed a post from the bottom of this thread for non-compliance with guidelines.