The modern quest by scientist for this Fountain has given 2 important revelations. This is amazing.
Drinking the water of The Fountain of Youth supposedly restores juvenescence. To become younger by this magic water is an old tall tale that can be traced from Herodotus (5th BCE) to Juan Ponce de León, first Governor of Puerto Rico in 16th century, who –the myth says- looked for the spring of eternal youth in the water of The Fountain of Youth in Florida, USA.
Over the years, the quest by scientist and no-scientist for the Fountain of Youth has had a variety of faces.
- A few years ago, it has been shown that old mice infused in their veins with blood from young mice restored their cognitive and physical performance. This reminded people the folk tale of men vampires drinking blood from, usually, young and well-looking girls to restore their lost youngness.
- In a step forward, it has been shown recently that infused plasma -the fraction of blood without cells- from young mice into the veins of old mice indeed restored cognitive and physical performance. A particular protein, also present in Human blood, is apparently responsible for the changes. In fact, when this protein, TIMP2, from young human blood plasma is infused into the veins of elderly mice the animals improved cognitive performance, that normally decline with age, such as memory.
Needless to say that pharmaceuticals companies have flourished in the modern quest for the Fountain of Youth.
Although a big step has to be given before this important discovery can be applied to Humans in clinical settings, perhaps this is the single most important discover to understand aging cognitive and physical decline. It also could be useful to treat some degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson diseases.
However, aging, and the associated normal lost of some cognitive functions, cannot be blamed for a single factor. We know that lifestyle is of the foremost importance: healthy diet, physical exercises, entertainment activities, are among the ones we have to adopt to get a healthy aging.