The Current

Scientists reverse the cognitive effects of aging in mice

Extraordinary research, with potentially far-reaching implications discovers that giving young blood to older mice has a rejuvenating effect on certain brain areas of the old mouse. Researchers see a benefit for tackling certain degenerative brain diseases, others are going beyond that.
A cure for aging? A scientist behind a breakthrough technique seems to have found a way to reverse cognitive ageing effects on mice. Next, is to find out if it will work on humans. (Iñaki Pérez de Albéniz, cc)
What researchers are talking about is the first intervention that may have the potential to slow aging in people. It would be one of the most important interventions in history.-  Jay Olshansky, professor of public health at University of Illinois

Today we're looking into some eye-opening -- and maybe even mind-opening -- research into a way to reverse the worse effects of aging on that front. 

It's research that began in mice.... is now being tested in humans... and if successful, its ripple effects could be transformative for the way we all live.

As part of our project Ripple Effectwe're looking for the fountain of youth, in our blood. Or, in younger blood.

Saul Villeda is an assistant professor of anatomy at University of California, San Francisco.

While the work is under way to see whether the results of this research could work in people. In clinical trials in California, scientists are giving young blood - young blood plasma, specifically - to people with Alzheimer's.  They want to see if it's safe -- and if it can slow mental decline and even help restore memory.

Jay Olshansky says if this works, this could be a gamechanger. He is an author and professor of public health at the University of Illinois. His next book, coming out in December, is called, "Ageing: the longevity dividend."

If you want to hear other stories in our project, check out the Ripple Effect website.

You can hear Anna Maria's conversation with the inventor of the cell phone, Martin Cooper... and our stories from Alberta about the ripple effects of plummeting oil prices in people's lives.

Remember to tweet us @thecurrentcbc with the hashtag #RippleCBC.

This segment was produced by The Current's Sonya Buyting, Shannon Higgins and Nicole Abi-Najem.