PATIENTS with dementia got a boost when injected with young people’s blood, say scientists.
They did better at tasks like cooking and travelling, though their “global cognition” levels did not change.
In a small-scale study, people aged from 50 to 90 suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s were given either four weekly “Dracula” jabs of blood plasma from men aged 18 to 25, or else injected with a harmless placebo.
Study author Dr Sharon Sha, a neurologist from Stanford University, California, said: “Improvements in functional abilities were reported by caregivers.”
She added “there were no related serious adverse events” and the injections were “safe, well-tolerated and feasible”.
Dr Sha said the technique had already restored memory during experiments on mice, but larger-scale studies were needed to show if there could be real benefits to humans.
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There are now early plans to test a larger number of sufferers, including those with more severe Alzheimer’s, with a variety of different doses.
In the UK an estimated 850,000 people are living with dementia, a number expected to rise to two million by 2050. There is no cure.