Can Cord Blood Make You Smarter in Your Old Age?

Baby Stem Cells Cord Blood.jpeg

Was there really a time in human history when older people were venerated for their wisdom, insight, and prodigious memories? When you’re over 50 and can’t find your car keys, or even your car after you park it in a multi-level parking lot, the idea of accruing wisdom with old age seems like a quaint myth.

Remember to Make Your Bed

A study from Stanford University School of Medicine, published in the April 2017 issue of Nature, however, suggests that there may be hope for Baby Boomers hoping to impress Millennials with their vast stores of impressive facts. When Stanford researchers injected blood taken from human umbilical cords into elderly mice, the geezers started acting young again. How young? Well, they started creating cozy beds out of cotton wads — a skill they’d forgotten before the rejuvenating injections. (Maybe they’re anticipating “company,” thanks to their renewed energy?)

Remember Where You Parked That Car, After All

The scientists conducted experiments using blood plasma from people in their 20s, some human oldsters in their 60s and 70s, and plasma from newborn umbilical cords. Lead researcher Joseph M. Castellano, PhD said that the elderly mice weren’t impressed by the blood of their human counterparts, showing no improvement in memory or learning. Likewise, the Millennial blood results were only “meh.”

The old mice lucky enough to receive cord blood plasma, though, not only remembered to make their beds, they were also better at remembering their way out of mazes that they’d successfully navigated in the past.

Remember All the Bad Things That Ever Happened to You

The mice who received the umbilical plasma also scored higher on a second memory test. This time, the researchers put the mice into a small chamber and then administered a slight shock to their tiny bare feet. When the mice were brought back into the chamber some time later, those who’d received plasma remembered that unpleasant shock and froze in fear. The mice who hadn’t received cord plasma totally blanked out the earlier experience and just went fearlessly about their mouse business.

Castellano and his team dissected the mice’s brains and examined their hippocampi — the part of mouse and human brains that converts experiences into long-term memories. They noted that genes responsible for making new memories had been turned on in some of the mice, suggesting that the plasma had flicked that switch.

Remember to Take Your TIMP2

The magic memory bullet that gave the cord blood plasma its reparative powers turned out to be a protein called TIMP2. Just to be sure, researchers injected some old mice with plasma that lacked TIMP2, and some others with TIMP2 alone. Plasma by itself didn’t help their memories at all. However, the TIMP2 mice showed improvements in memory and learning.

Before you start adding TIMP2 to your Bulletproof Coffee each morning to beat back the hipsters at work, Castellano and his team were quick to point out that mice are not people. It will take a lot more research and experimentation to determine if TIMP2 can improve memory and learning in older human adults.

There may be a good reason why adults no longer produce TIMP2. It’s possible that its effects could be harmful to humans after a certain age. In fact, according to Irina Conboy, a researcher from the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in aging and degenerative diseases, TIMP2 levels are actually elevated in patients with Alzheimer’s and other neurogenerative diseases.

Don’t Forget About This Study

Nevertheless, the perky old mice have excited scientists the world over who think that cord blood holds hope for rejuvenating aging brains. In the meantime, there are lots of current therapies that are being developed using stem cells extracted from umbilical cord linings, including anti-aging cosmeceuticals and therapies for chronic diseases, such as diabetes and Parkinson’s. If you are planning a family or expecting a child, you can get started on a better future for your family by cord tissue banking today.

Choose GlobalCord

Make an informed choice. Select a cord banking service that is licensed to offer complete coverage for all stem cell therapies derived from your stored cord.

Umbilical cord lining tissue banked by non-licensed cord blood banks may not provide the stem cell yield or quality that CellResearch Corporation’s proprietary and patented protocols can provide — this may affect its suitability for future therapeutic use. In addition, these blood banks and medical institutions that offer CellResearch Corporation's patented protocols — which include ALL cord lining stem cell therapies — are at risk of patent infringement.

GlobalCord is operated by CellResearch Corporation and its partners. Cords banked through GlobalCord are covered by CellResearch Corporation’s patent licensure which extends to 41 territories around the world, including the U.S.A.