Scientists at Stanford University injected the blood from younger mice into their older counterparts and found that it helped to boost their brainpower.
The promising results will lead the way from human trials, as scientists hope more research will help to develop a new treatment for dementia.
Published in the journal Nature Medicine, 18-month-old mice were given injections of plasma – the fluid found in blood – taken from mice aged only 3 months.
The mice that received the injections were subsequently found to perform better on memory tests than mice of the same age who had not received the treatment.
“There are factors present in blood from young mice that can recharge an old mouse’s brain so that it functions more like a younger one,” explained lead researcher Dr Tony Wyss-Coray, from Stanford University School of Medicine.
“We’re working intensively to find out what those factors might be and from exactly which tissues they originate,” Dr Wyss-Coray told reporters.
While the human significance of the trials is still unknown, a clinical trial has been planned.
Similar research has also shown the beneficial effects of how young blood may benefit the old and ageing.
Research published by a Harvard University team in the journal Science, found a substance in the blood of mice had an anti-aging effect on heart muscle and helped to boost brain cells.
The study found that the blood factor studied encouraged rejuvenation in the brain through the regeneration of cells in old mice. It also restored their sense of smell and boosted muscle power.