Can some “fresh” blood from a younger person reverse the damage of Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers are currently trying to answer the question but they did find, the treatments are safe.
The team of researchers at Stanford University in California found that the infusions of plasma from healthy young men didn’t hurt the 18 Alzheimer’s patents who got the treatment.
A few of the patents did seem to do little better with their everyday skills but their memory did not improve.
This does not mean that blood transfusions are the cure to Alzheimer’s Disease, the researcher stated. However, future testing is possible.
“This does show it’s worth going forward with more tests,” said Dr. Sharon Sha, the lead researcher.
“We need to do the next steps to understand what is in the young plasma,” Sha said.
Plasma is the liquid part of blood without the red cells and immune cells.
The research was based off another research also done at Stanford, in the lab of Tony Wyss-Coray. He found by infusing young human plasma into old mice, the blood would perk them up.
This work made national headlines and launched a company, Alkahest. They are working on developing young human plasma into treatments for aging-related diseases. They have plans to move forward with clinical trials as they currently have 40 volunteers for next year.
The test done this year only had 18 people volunteer for the plasma transfusions.
More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and the number is expected to grow in the next few decades. There’s no cure and the treatments have looked promising but have ultimately failed when in the big trial.
Joe McCracken, the vice president for development at Alkahest says the company is working to figure out what is in the plasma that might just affect aging and disease but they will not use whole plasma.