Study co-author Saul Villeda of the University of California San Francisco said, "We are very excited about the findings because it indicates that there are two ways to potentially reverse age-related cognitive impairments. One is to introduce pro-youthful blood factors and the other is to therapeutically target pro-aging factors like B2M."
The authors said, "Aging remains the most dominant risk factor for dementia-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. As such, it is imperative to gain mechanistic insight into what drives aging. In the brain in order to counteract vulnerability to cognitive dysfunction. B2M injections impaired the learning ability, memory, and neuron growth of lab mice. But the effect was reversible by stopping the injections."
Villeda said, "In another experiment, the scientists eliminated B2M genetically in mice, and observed that the old mice lacking B2M did not develop memory loss. This all implied the molecule could be targeted to potentially restore cognitive ability in the elderly."
The research is published in the Nature Medicine.