Umbilical Cord Blood From Babies Could Restore Memory Of An Aging Mice

First Posted: Apr 20, 2017 05:30 AM EDT

A new study indicates that blood from umbilical cords of babies could bring back the memory of an aging mice. The researchers discovered that cord blood has protein known as TIMP2, which enhances neuroplasticity in the brain that allows neurons to modify and communicate efficiently.

The findings of the study were printed in the journal Nature. The study was led by researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dr. James Pickett, the head of research of Alzheimer's Society, said that all people experience the decrease in memory as they get older. He further said that this study suggests that a factor in human umbilical cord blood could enter the brain and repair some of the processes that are needed for generating new memories, according to The Telegraph.

The study involved rodents, in which the researchers injected umbilical cord blood into them many times in several weeks. The mice aged between 12 and 14 months old that is equivalent to being in the late 50s and 60s. They examined the mouse brains and investigated the hippocampi. They discovered that certain genes associated with generating new memories had been activated in the mice, according to NPR.

The team found that the elderly mice performed better in learning and memory tests and began to nest again. They collected cotton wads to make beds. This is a behavior that is usually forgotten in old age.

The rats' performances were not very impressive at first before they were injected with an umbilical cord. Joe Castellano, a neuroscientist at Stanford University School of Medicine, said that it took them a long time to learn and remember the location of the escape hole. Some of them did not manage at all. On the other hand, after cord plasma treatment, their performances improved and changed.

The study indicates that the protein referred to as TIMP2 in the umbilical cord is responsible for the improvement of memory in mice. On the other hand, this could be effective in the memory in mice. The researchers do not know yet if these could be appropriate for humans. More studies are needed if the findings of the study could be applied to people with dementia.

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