NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The secret to eternal youth may have finally been revealed and the answer might be in the blood of young people.
It's a controversial new treatment that may hold promise, but at a price.
Dr. Jesse Karmazin is talking about transfusions with the "young blood" from teenagers. He says it just may turn back the hands of time.
That blood is going to patients over 35 as part of a clinical trial called "Ambrosia." Subjects pay $8,000 to get the rich growth factors found in the platelets in blood's plasma.
"There are pretty much people from most states, people from overseas, people from Europe and Australia have come to be treated," Dr. Karmazin said.
There have not been any published results yet, but the intriguing concept still found its way into pop culture.
Dr. Karmazin claims human subjects who've had it say they feel amazing and that he's seen evidence of reversing the aging process in rats.
"They're actually younger in sort of every way. Their brains are younger, their hearts, their hair - if it was gray it turns dark again," the doctor claims.
There has also been encouraging Alzheimer's research using young blood at Stanford as well.
"We found that it was safe and feasible to administer infusions of young plasma weekly," Dr. Sharon Sha explained.
Dr. Sha is a Stanford researcher who says they have seen evidence of improvement in functional ability.
"It's all very exciting that there can be components in blood that can be healing."
Platelet rich plasma, or PRP treatments using a patient's own blood have been in demand as trendy but controversial "vampire facials" to fight wrinkles. It's also been used as a joint and tissue treatment to accelerate healing.
"Scientific evidence has shown human-to-human plasma transfusion come with associated risks," said Dr. Hooman Khorasani who supports plasma injections for patients using their own blood, but advises against any human-to-human plasma transfusion or subcutaneous injections for elective cosmetic purposes.
"Plasma transfusions, in particular increase rate of exposure to pathogens and immunologic and autoimmune reactions," he said.
Khorasani is using those rich PRP's in a study at Mount Sinai to regrow hair.
"You can actually use your own blood and use growth factors in the blood to stimulate the body and fight the aging process," Khorasani said.
Experts agree. There is still more research that needs to be done regarding the effectiveness of young blood transfusions, but the research is promising.
Dr. Karmazin says he plans to open a young blood lab in New York at the end of this year or beginning of 2019, but would not provide any additional information about those plans or the procedure.
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