Therapeutics

Young Plasma

Overview

Name: Young Plasma
Therapy Type: Other
Target Type: Inflammation (timeline), Other (timeline), Unknown
Condition(s): Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Alzheimer's Disease
U.S. FDA Status: Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (Phase 1), Alzheimer's Disease (Phase 1)
Company: Alkahest, Inc., Grifols Biologicals Inc.

Background

The rationale behind this treatment approach is that systemic factors present in young blood cross into the brain, where they counteract aging processes and neurodegeneration by modulating neuroinflammation, neurogenesis, and cognitive function. In essence, this approach attempts to rejuvenate the aging brain with infusions of plasma from young adults. Initial clinical trials grew, in part, out of parabiosis studies, in which old mice connected via their circulatory systems to young mice showed improvements on a wide range of outcome measures related to aging and neurodegeneration (May 2014 conference newsMar 2013 conference newsNov 2009 conference news).

Findings

In September 2014, a double-blinded Phase 1 study started enrolling 18 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease into a 12-week trial. It will compare a four-week treatment regimen of once-weekly injections of one unit of plasma from men aged 30 or under to placebo. Treatment and placebo groups switch off after a four-week washout. Safety is the primary outcome; other outcomes include cognitive, functional, and neuropsychiatric AD scales, as well as functional connectivity in the default mode network as per resting state functional MRI. This study took place at Stanford University and was slated to end October 2015. See clinicaltrials.gov.

In May 2015, a Phase 1 study at the University of California, San Francisco, started enrolling 10 people with progressive supranuclear palsy into an open-label study of transfusion of plasma from blood donors 30 or younger. This study infuses four units of fresh frozen plasma once a month for six months. Beyond the primary outcome of safety, this trial lists 13 additional outcome measures ranging from change in motor, cognitive, functional, and behavioral measures to CSF, MRI, saccadic eye movement, and sleep measures. See clinicaltrials.gov.

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References

News Citations

  1. In Revival of Parabiosis, Young Blood Rejuvenates Aging Microglia, Cognition
  2. Blessing or Curse? Peripheral Cytokines in the Brain
  3. Chicago: The Vampire Principle—Young Blood Rejuvenates Aging Brain?

External Citations

  1. clinicaltrials.gov
  2. clinicaltrials.gov

Further Reading

No Available Further Reading