A TGB READER STORY: Building Bridges
Cancer Update – 1 March 2019

FDA Warns Against Goulish Anti-Aging Treatment AND...

The Alex and Ronni Show at the bottom of this post featuring Ronni's black eye.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week, issued an alert to older people that transfusions of young people's blood as an anti-ageing treatment are “unproven and potentially harmful”.

”The FDA goes on to note that such infusions are known to pose a range of health risks in humans,” reports Ars Technica. “These risks include spreading infectious disease, triggering allergic reactions, and causing lung injuries.

“In some people—particularly those with heart disease—the infusions can also overload the circulatory system, causing swelling and breathing trouble, the agency explains.”

I reported on the goulish “young blood” transfusions two years ago highlighting a private clinic called Ambrosia in Monterey, California, where people could pay $8,000 to have blood plasma from teenagers and young adults pumped into their veins.

Ambrosia's owner, Jesse Karmazin, said then that most participants “see improvement” from a one-time infusion within a month.

Although the FDA did not mention Ambrosia in their warning last week, STATnews reports that

”Karmazin, has yet to report the results of a clinical trial he ran testing the procedure, which involves an off-label use of an approved product. On Tuesday [19 February 2019], however, following the release of the FDA statement, a notice on Ambrosia’s site said it would no longer offer the transfusions.”

Further from Ars Technica:

”The sellers suggest that doses of young plasma can treat conditions ranging from normal aging and memory loss to dementia, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, or post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the FDA.”

People have been looking for a fountain of youth since at least Alexander the Great without any luck. But a growing number of researchers throughout the world have been working for years to develop treatments to slow the ageing process and extend the human lifespan.

I would be a lot happier if they would concentrate on those diseases of age listed above. As an old woman living with terminal cancer, I agree with Markus Kounalakis writing at Washington Monthly:

”The latest young blood therapy will likely only go to risk-taking well-heeled early adopters and late stagers. Here’s an alternative: Live a happy life, love, practice random acts of kindness, drink in moderation, and don’t smoke. It’s a lot easier than getting stuck with either a needle or a big blood bill.”

What do you think?

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Comments

As for the young blood infusions, as my mother used to say, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” (I’d never heard of this dangerous scam.)

I'm hoping that swelling and discoloration are going down and your knee and elbow are feeling okay. Thank goodness nothing worse than that happened.

Your story about the woman who broke both her arms reminded me of a situation with the mother of a friend of my sister's. This woman lives in a small town not far from my sister. She was about 80 at the time, and was walking home from a gathering at her church just a block or so from her house. She tripped and fell, putting out both her arms to brace herself before hitting the cement sidewalk, and broke both wrists. As you point out, you are left totally dependent after an event like that, and it was many weeks before she could do even the simplest things for herself. Thankfully, her daughter and my sister were able to take the time off work and other activities to take care of her until she healed enough to resume those things for herself.

The blood transfusion story is as creepy today as it was a couple of years ago.

A tale: Two hundred years ago, a bridge was erected spanning a small river. As time passed, repairs were required to maintain its integrity. At the rate it is going, within another two hundred years, each and every piece used in the bridge will have been replaced.
Question: After replacement of all of the parts, is the bridge still the same bridge?

I (an engineer, not a medical professional) can see how such infusions might be used in medical treatments; but, one would think that it would need to be as replacement to fluids removed from a body rather than as an addition - similarly to the way blood is transfused following blood loss. (And, perhaps in the above-mentioned "treatments" such was the case; but, it wasn't mentioned.) After all, I can see problems with, as Dolly Parton was reported to have said, "putting 50 pounds of mud in a 5 pound bag", among other issues.

As the body normally replaces its cells on a continuous basis, as we've been replacing damaged/diseased parts (hearts, lungs for instance) with better parts, and since we replace lost blood with whole blood or blood products – all while feeling that we are the same person - I see no reason to think there can't be some benefit to treatments similar to, but better than, the procedure that you address.
Obviously, I’ve no way to know whether any clinic is offering a procedure as a scam or whether as a step forward. Professor Barnard surely had the good of humankind in mind when he performed the first heart transplant, even though his patient lived but an additional 18 days.

I only heard of the "young blood" transfusions recently, but immediately dismissed the idea as a scam. Desperate people sometimes resort to desperate measures, and there are always hucksters eager to take advantage of that. In addition, the FDA has warned against the procedure.

Yuck . People are nuts. And besides that, human physiology is very complicated.

Bt I love your new colors, Ronni! Hope they don't hurt.

I wonder if you get the attitude as well.

Just a heads up. I recently experienced a similar fall. Hit side of my head. It took me a while to realize that when you hit your head there is some degree of concussion. Healing comes from resting your mind and with time . Treatment recommendations are to restrain from tasks demanding mental concentration. Avoid screen time -- TV, computer, cell phone. Avoid doing puzzles, maybe reading. You can research it. I mention this because you may now be dealing with a combination of symptom and some of them might pertain to the degree of concussion you experienced. One doesn't feel pain, but maybe headaches or slight nausea, inability to concentrate. Hope this is helpful for you.

Chiming back in here for a second comment. I included the paragraph below on my comment to the 2017 post on this topic, and will just say that yes, as Mary commented above, "people are nuts" and have always been. The behavior described below is not a scam, but malicious self-centered murderous behavior, and I have no doubt that similar things are still occurring in areas of the world, where the very rich and powerful sometimes prey on the very poor and powerless, same as it's ever been.

From 2017:
For a ghoulish story of someone who used human blood to keep her young, check out Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed, a Hungarian countess, who in the early 1600's was found to have lured hundreds of young women to her palace, for the purpose of torturing and killing them and using their blood to keep her young. She is listed in the Guinness book of records as the most prolific female murderer. Don't read about her right before bedtime, though.

Snake oil, 21st century-style.

Nutty people abound. I hope they learn to spend their time living the lives they have.

So sorry you fell, Ronni. Hope it all heals soon and completely.

Someone once said life is just one damn thing after another. True that. (PS When I used to wail over the size and shape of my "shnozz" as a self-conscious teenager, I was assured it gave my face "character". Heal fast, Ronni, while you embrace that special look. )

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