If experiments in mice also apply to humans, a new treatment for brain diseases could be in the works.
Who knew that great thinking lies in your bones?
A study done at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in California has shown that receiving a young bone marrow transplant can be good for your mind.
Lab mice who were 18 months old received bone marrow transplants from mice that were just 4 months old. When the older mice underwent standard laboratory tests 6 months later, their thinking had improved. The transplant recipients outperformed the control group.
The tests covered things like learning, spatial memory and working memory.
According to researchers, these results coincide with a growing body of science. This area attributes a decline in human thinking to aging blood cells.
The older your bone marrow is, the older the blood cells being produced will act.
“We are entering an era in which there will be more elderly people in the population. (This will be) putting a huge burden on the health system,” said Clive Svendsen, PhD, co-senior author of the new study.
“Our work indicates that cognitive decline in mice can be significantly reduced by simply providing young blood cells, which act on the brain to reduce the loss of synapses related to aging.”
Scientists are hoping that further research will prove the findings aren’t only specific to mice. New therapies for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases could be developed, and be of great benefit.