Blood Clotting Component Could Slow Aging and Cognitive Decline, Study Shows

In Education

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco have discovered that a blood component related to clotting might have the potential to reverse brain aging. This factor is also associated with the young blood transfusions’ benefits, the “longevity hormone” klotho, and cognitive improvements through exercise.

Platelet factor 4 can slow aging

The research identifies platelet factor 4 (PF4) as the key factor responsible for rejuvenating effects. PF4, produced by blood platelets, plays a role in wound healing but also appears to enhance the cognitive functions of aging brains and sharpen the cognitive abilities of young brains.

The rejuvenation process involving young blood, klotho, and exercise can stimulate brain function, according to Dr. Saul Villeda, the senior author of a study from the UCSF Bakar Aging Research Institute. The study, which focuses on PF4, is shedding light on the mechanisms behind this rejuvenation.

Dr. Villeda’s research on parabiosis has shown that connecting an older animal to a younger one can rejuvenate the older animal. This rejuvenation is linked to the presence of PF4 in the plasma of younger animals, which has the ability to improve the aging immune systems of older animals, leading to better memory and learning abilities.

PF4 rejuvenates the immune system, reducing pro-aging factors and inflammation. Dr. Villeda’s research on 22-month-old mice, equivalent to human seniors, shows that PF4 restores their function to that of individuals in their late 30s or early 40s.

Klotho triggers release of Klotho from platelets

Dr. Dena Dubal, a UCSF professor specializing in aging and neurodegenerative disease, discovered that the hormone klotho has cognitive benefits. Klotho prompts platelets to release PF4, which improves memory regions in the brain and enhances cognitive performance in both young and old animals. Dr. Dubal hopes to develop effective treatments for cognitive dysfunction with minimal side effects.

According to University of Queensland neuroscience professor Dr Tara Walker exercise leads to the release of PF4, which has important implications. This discovery suggests that for individuals unable to exercise due to health conditions or age, there is potential for pharmacological intervention to target platelets and improve neurogenesis, cognition, and counteract age-related cognitive decline.

Mobile Sliding Menu