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Protein In Umbilical Cord Blood May Restore Brain Functions

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It is clear that when mice age, in the same way as humans, their bodies and behaviors fundamentally change. Old mice stop building nests and take a longer time to find the exit of a maze. Like humans, they become forgetful and less active. But umbilical cord blood could hold the key to rejuvenate brain functions.

Standford University scientists made an exciting discovery. They found that using a protein present in human umbilical cord blood improved learning capabilities and memory in old mice.

After injecting for 2 weeks this protein in old mice showing a decline in activity and memory, the researchers found that these same mice were more likely to build nests again and were quicker to escape from the maze.

lab-miceIt seems that both the umbilical cord blood and the protein work directly on the brain, specifically in the part that is related to memory — the hippocampus– improving memory and brain functions.

As the human physiological and behavioral characteristics closely resemble those of mice, it could likely also work on the human brain. This study could help to treat age-associated declines in mental abilities.

“Neuroscientists have ignored it and are still ignoring it, but to me it’s remarkable that something in your blood can influence the way you think,” says the study’s senior author, Tony Wyss-Coray, Ph.D., a professor of neurology and neurological sciences as well as a senior research career scientist at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System in California. The lead author of the study was Joseph Castellano, Ph.D., an instructor of neurology and neurological sciences.

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