A new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine proved that a certain protein found in human blood could reverse some of the memory damaged caused by old age or some forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. Using blood extracted from human umbilical cord, the Stanford scientists managed to restore memory in old-aged lab mice partially.
Of Dementia and Mice
Dr. James Pickett, the lead researcher of this new dementia-oriented study, and Alzheimer’s Society’s head of research declared that the treatment based on a protein found in the umbilical cord’s blood could increase the brain’s elasticity, thus allowing the neurons to establish new communication pathways, improving the memory consolidation process.
As Pickett explained, the experiment has had successful results, especially where old mice were involved. During a series of controlled experiments, Pickett and his team injected the old mice with blood extracted from human umbilical cords.
In the weeks that followed, the mice showed signs of improved memory functions. In fact, according to Pickett, some of the rodents started their nesting ritual, which included the gathering of cotton wads, which they later used to construct their next.
Pickett cataloged this event as significant since mice are known to discontinue their nesting habits with old age. Moreover, it would appear that the elixir boosted the mice’s new memory formation capacity. So, how does Pickett’s treatment work?
How Does This Novel Treatment Work?
According to the scientists who were involved in the ground-breaking research, the blood infusion targets a specific memory associated area of the mice’s brains called the hippocampus. Researchers believe that this brain area is somehow capable of converting everyday experience into long-lasting memories.
Furthermore, the hippocampus is known to play a significant role in our ability to process and understand spatial information. For example, this brain area helps you remember things like what you had for dinner or where you left a certain object in the house.
Unfortunately, according to the data gathered throughout the dementia study, the blood infusion treatment cannot entirely restore memory or the learning process. However, as Pickett pointed, it’s still a big step forward in the right direction, even though the treatment sounds like something cooked up in Frankenstein’s laboratory.
The new dementia-orientated study was recently published in the prestigious Nature journal and waiting for peer review. So far, Pickett and his team have proved that a simple treatment such as this one can make a significant difference when it comes to keeping the memories alive.
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