New research suggests that the blood from the umbilical cord could delay the effects of aging in the brain. Scientists have successfully rejuvenated brains of aged mice with infusions of a protein found in human umbilical cord blood. Scientists are hopeful that it could also combat mental decline in older people.
This research was conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine. For this study, scientists selected mice that were aged equivalent to 50 human years. Researchers collected blood from babies’ umbilical cords, from young people, and from old people, and injected plasma from these blood samples into mice.
To find out the effect, the mice were put through memory and cognitive tasks both before and after the plasma cells were injected. Researchers found that the mice that received the plasma from umbilical cord blood improved notably. Plasma from older people didn’t make any improvement, however young plasma induced an intermediate effect.
The research has been published in Nature. The researchers write in Nature, “Our findings reveal that human cord plasma contains plasticity-enhancing proteins of high translational value for targeting aging or disease-associated hippocampal dysfunction.”