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Blood Work: Scientists Uncover Surprising New Tools to Rejuvenate the Brain (ucsf.edu)
85 points by sjcsjc on Jan 8, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments



There is little to no scientific backing for any particular cognitive training games/tool to be any better than any other activity that would be put under the "enriched environment" heading if we were talking about mice. It is an area marked by long claims on short evidence, and commercial products that are borderline fraud.

That is very different from the effects of altering clearly identified protein levels in the blood such as GDF-11 [1], which produce robust and defensible effects, clearly demarcated and measured.

It is the typically sad state of things to see the primary source, the university, shackle these two things together in the name of promotion.

[1]: http://hsci.harvard.edu/news/functioning-aged-brains-and-mus...


The key point is "any other activity". For most people, the cognitive games on their phones are probably the most accessible enriched environment tools. The blood, on the other hand, seems to be fraught with complications, from basic health concerns to economic issues. The Red Cross is almost always calling for more donations to blood, I can't imagine the situation improving if richer people start buying the blood of younger people.


How about an organisation you can join where you donate your blood when you're young and receive blood when you're older?

Of course there can be problems in the long run (just like the German pension scheme has some), and it is necessary to create trust, but it's fairer than the outlook you present.


Not clear if you meant that you'd be donating for yourself, but blood only lasts 42 days (plasma lasts up to a year): http://nybloodcenter.org/donate-blood/become-donor/donation-...


No, I meant that the young people donate for the old, and that once they turn old there will (hopefully) be more young people to donate blood, again to receive blood from other young people when they turn old. Kind of like a pension scheme (at least the one we have in Germany works that way).


Interesting they did not mention the first human trial of young blood infusion that started at Stanford late last year and should already be completed.

Also since blood transfusions are an established practice, I wonder why the "anti-aging institutes" aren't jumping all over this to offer expensive treatments as is done with testosterone and other therapies lacking sufficient evidence of efficacy and safety.


There was a post secret a while back about a secret club at Harvard where researchers already use the techniques for themselves. (And people never lie on the internet, so...)

(http://postsecret.com/ Sadly the images are deleted after a week or two, I can't find the one I'm talking about.

found it somewhere else: http://www.thedotspot.net/2014/11/23/postsecret-pic-of-the-w...)


Because transfusions don't have the desired outcome per tests so far. They are not capturing whatever the desired mechanism might be, or factors relevant to the effects are short-lived, or some such. I'm not expecting that trial to do any better based on mouse results to date:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215333/


Probably because donating blood for money is illegal in most countries.


Hmm that's quite interesting. I would have liked to see the results for the 20 year olds after 12 hours of practice as well, although i would just like to see if they bridged the gap or kept an even lead( I'd imagine the gap had shrunk).

I also wonder if I can try that game out myself Haha, ill have to search when I'm home.

Thankyou for the link, it was quite interesting.


"NeuroRacer is not commercially available. We do not have any plans of release NeuroRacer to the public because it was developed as a research tool and not a consumer product."

http://gazzaleylab.ucsf.edu/neuroscience-projects/neuroracer...


Or it is because Zynga is a donor.

http://gazzaleylab.ucsf.edu/neuroscience-research/donors/

They can't release it for free because Zynga wants first crack at making money off of it if it has promise as a commercial product.

Just a guess, but it sounds like less bullshit than their stated rationale.


Ahh thanks :-(


I wonder if the current generations of people who have been gamers since birth will naturally reduce age related cognition losses.


Anecdotally, almost every progamer over the age of 25 has said that your hands and eyes start to slow down, and by 30 it is very difficult to keep up with younger players. This is not directly related to cognition, of course.


So, Elizabeth Báthory was right after all? /s


Sounds like a classic premise for a horror/crime movie.


Futurama anyone?




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