Hiroshi Yamada, Ph.D., University of Tsukuba; Noga Ron-Harel, Ph.D., Israel Institute of Technology; Ayesha Saleem, Ph.D., University of Manitoba
Competition Sponsor: Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development
The aging population around the world requires the development of therapeutic strategies aimed at improving health span to keep pace with the increase in lifespan. Previous research has shown that transfusing old animals with blood from young animals reverses some aspects of aging, leading to the hypothesis of “youthful” factors in young blood. Here, we propose that these factors are packaged in a type of secretory vehicle called extracellular vesicles (EVs), and that treating old cells with EVs isolated from younger people would reverse physiological markers of aging such as impaired immune cell function, and subsequently alleviate age-induced deficits in cognitive memory. The unique scientific direction proposed here will serve as a potential launch point into new avenues of research that will address if we can reverse or rescue the rampant cognitive decline in older individuals by treating them with EVs isolated from young people. The therapeutic advantage comes at a pivotal point where the population of older adults has already outstripped that of children and improving health outcomes in the aging population worldwide to facilitate healthy longevity.
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