Patrick has been researching and writing about breakthrough tech for over 30 years. He has written over 200 editorials for USA Today. He has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and on CNN’s Crossfire news program.

Patrick has also served as a consultant for national political campaigns and Fortune 500 companies. He’s interviewed and speaks regularly to a host of nationally known CEOs and Nobel Prize-winning scientists and researchers.
Tags: aging | plasma | rejuvenation | stem cells

Young Blood Can Slow Aging

By Friday, 20 May 2016 04:30 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Renowned science-fiction author Robert Heinlein — whom I had the honor to know personally — wrote a novel called Methuselah’s Children, which involved people who are extremely long-lived.

Heinlein gave two explanations for his characters’ longevity. One was selective breeding, which we now know is entirely plausible. I foresee dating sites soon to come where people with the super-ager CETP gene can find one another.

In the book, the other mechanism for extending lifespans is periodic transfusions from very young donors, so-called “vampire therapy.” Of course, we’re talking about science fiction here; nobody really believed young blood could extend lives.

Until now.

Seventy-three years after Methuselah’s Children was serialized published, an experiment was performed at the Stanford University School of Medicine using mice.

The procedure was simple: Eight times over a period of 24 days, the team gave 18-month-old mice blood plasma (blood from which all cells have been removed) from 3-month-old mice. When the aged mice underwent a rodent IQ test, they showed significant improvements.

The overview of the study, published in the journal Nature, states: “Here we report that exposure of an aged animal to young blood can counteract and reverse pre-existing effects of brain aging at the molecular, structural, functional, and cognitive level. Genome-wide microarray analysis of heterochronic parabionts — in which circulatory systems of young and aged animals are connected — identified synaptic plasticity-related transcriptional changes in the hippocampus of aged mice.”

In other words, the brains of the older mice given transfusions from the young mice didn’t simply perform better, they showed physical signs of rejuvenation. Clearly, this is a pretty big deal.

Many of the reports about the Stanford study focused on the possibility of isolating the rejuvenating factors in young blood and using them on their own.

A prime candidate is the GDF11 protein whose production decreases with age; prior research showed that it has rejuvenating effects in parts of the body other than the brain.

Several experiments have demonstrated that age-related damage to the heart muscles in older mice can also be reversed by GDF11 proteins from younger animals.

This is of enormous interest to researchers because heart muscle cells generally don’t regenerate in older mammals — human or otherwise. As it stands today, heart attack damage is permanent damage, and it increases the odds of another heart attack.

I’m baffled that U.S. healthcare agencies haven’t made GDF11 therapy a priority given the sky-high costs of heart disease. Regardless, I think it will be available in the near future, perhaps outside the U.S..

I don’t believe, however, that the therapy will involve injections of GDF11 itself. An exogenous dose of a bioactive protein, even if it’s naturally occurring, tends to upset the regulatory axis that balances all the complex processes running in the body.

Side effects wouldn’t just be possible, they’d be likely.

Fortunately, there are better ways to restore GDF11 to youthful levels, including stem cell implants and DNA vaccines.

We know from the experience of people who take growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH), which I discuss in my latest anti-aging report, that hormones produced in the body are recognized and integrated into the entire system of hormonal regulation.

This means there may be very few, if any, negative side effects. Several scientists I communicate with regularly believe their firms could deliver this therapy at moderate costs (assuming regulatory approval).


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Researchers gave 18-month-old mice blood plasma from 3-month-old mice. When the aged mice underwent a rodent IQ test, they showed significant improvements.
aging, plasma, rejuvenation, stem cells
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2016-30-20
Friday, 20 May 2016 04:30 PM
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