Young at Mind

Are you only as old as you THINK?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

We’ll try all kinds of supplements to keep our minds sharp – gingko biloba, fish oil, blueberry chews… But what about actually taking some uh… brain juice… straight from the source? Would that work?

Tal Iram and team from Stanford University wondered… 

Our brains are surrounded by CSF, or cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid supplies nutrients to keep the brain functioning. Can it protect our memory as we get older? The researchers gave CSF from young, healthy mice to older ones with memory impairments. 

Then, all mice underwent a behavior task to assess their long-term memory. They were trained to recognize specific cues and tested three weeks later on memory recall.

Results? OLD mice given YOUNG CSF displayed BETTER memory recall than those that were NOT. This research suggests young CSF contains proteins that may help restore function in older brains. 

The researchers hope to use results like these to develop treatment for memory impairments.

One step closer to finding the elixir of youth! Now where did I leave that crossword?

Reference: Iram, T., Kern, F., Kaur, A. et al. Young CSF restores oligodendrogenesis and memory in aged mice via Fgf17. Nature (2022).