Friday, 09 May 2014
Elder Vampires in Our Future?
A few days ago, this headline dropped into my mailbox:
Young Blood Reverses Age-Related Brain Impairments in Old Mice
Who could resist clicking that link? Don't tell me you are not, right now, envisioning Bill Nighy as the vampire Viktor in Underworld. (Or something similar.)
Ever since the oldest baby boomers hit age 60, journalists have been predicting a generational war between young and old. This is one ghoulish way it could happen:
”New research finds infusing aging mice with the blood of young mice appears to recharge the brain so it functions more like a younger one.
“...senior author Tony Wyss-Coray and colleagues...found [the old mice] performed better in spatial memory tests than older mice that had received plasma from other older mice, or none at all...
“This part of the brain [hippocampus], Prof. Wyss-Coray explains, is the part you use when you are trying 'to find your car in a parking lot or navigate around a city without using your GPS system.'”
Professor Wyss-Coray says they do not yet know if this will work in humans but hopes to set up trials soon. You can read the full report of the research study at Medical News Today.
Undoubtedly some enterprising screenwriter has the movie script halfway finished. I wonder if Bill Nighy is up for another go at playing Viktor the vampire.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Cassie Rogers: Dessert in the Afternoon