A study made by the Conboys team made a lot of noise a few months ago: Rejuvenation of three germ layers tissues by exchanging old blood plasma with saline-albumin . This is but one more evidence of a systemic regulation of the aging process by blood factors, but with the added and exciting bonus that merely removing “pro-aging” factors in the blood could have profound rejuvenation effects. This would be a game changer, allowing an greatly affordable and easily scalable anti-aging therapy to be developped.
Michael J. Conboy and Irina M. Conboy have started a company called IMYu to develop a commercial anti-aging therapy based on these latest findings, and they are keeping the details quite secret. Obviously they want to protect some sort of intellectual property, and considering that plasmapheresis has been approved and practiced around the world for decades, they have to hold on to some secrets or another. So when they declare publicly that it would be dangerous to try dilution of plasma for anti-aging yourself, or even that it would be unethical for doctors to try to replicate the experiment on volunteers, they are merely try to scare people and protect an ill-defined IP.
Unfortunately this means that we have to go by their published work to try and guess what works in plasma dilution, and ignore their attempt to muddy the water. At least until they publish more data on their human trials.
While we wait, there are a hundred thousands people dying of aging every day, so unlike them, I think the ethical thing to do is actually to try and advance public knowledge on the subject as much as as possible to allow people to make intelligent and informed decision and save lives that would be otherwise lost waiting for the approval of a bureaucracy that doesn’t recognize aging as a medical issue.
And it turns out that there are a few clinics are and there that offer a commercial treatment a plasmapheresis. For example, the only one in France is this one. On the description page of the procedure, they claim that it “detoxifies the blood”, helps with “aging”, “neuro-degenerative diseases including Alzheimer”, can help against “chronic fatigue”, “skin aging” and “hair loss”, etc… Sounds like typical crackpot sales pitch of the anti-aging marketplace. Except that now we have mice studies to back some versions of that up.
There are a few differences with the original study done on mice, which might make this flavor of the therapy completely ineffective for rejuvenation. As a quick reminder, in the study, 50% of platelet-rich-plasma was removed by centrifugation, and replaced with a saline-albumin solution. Here are the specifics of what the clinic offers:
- Membrane plasmapheresis (mTPE) (the machines are Hemofenix), which is less efficient than centrifugal. I couldn’t get the pore size of the filters they use but from what I understand it will remove most but not the biggest proteins. The solution used for replacement is physiologic saline solution (0.9% NaCl), with a few mL of Anticoagulant Citrate Dextrose-A as needed by the machine to operate.
- The procedure is done in 4 sessions separated by 48 hours minimum, during each of which you usually get 800ml of your plasma replaced (~30%). Note that because mTPE is less efficient, less of your plasma will be replaced than the volume of plasma extracted.
So I decided to use their service to test the rejuvenation effect of plasma dilution. I am starting with me as the first test subject, and depending on data will move on with others.
To evaluate the efficiency of the procedure, which is the whole point of this experiment, I will take measurements of various useful (and less useful) biomarkers. The first session is booked for December 17, 2020, and will be described in the next blog post, along with the first data gathered.
Edit from December 24, 2020: I was able to get a bit more information on the machine used for this procedure: