No, it is not. Vampire therapy is actually a colloquial name given to an emerging new field of medicine which uses a patient’s own blood to treat a variety of ills, including aging.
The Daily Mail is reporting on the most recent study which documents the repair of muscles and liver in mice after infusing older mice with the blood of younger rodents.
“What makes blood so useful is that it contains cells with many different attributes,” the Mail reports. “For example, the smallest cells, platelets, release growth factors, proteins that send signals to accelerate tissue repair and regeneration in bone, skin and cartilage.”
Professor Lennard Funk, a shoulder surgeon at Wilmslow Hospital in the UK, told the Mail that growth factors are an essential part of the body’s healing process. “’When injury occurs, platelets are the first cells to arrive at the injured site and release growth factors which start to heal and repair,” he said.
Many of these vampire therapies provide platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) which prepares a patient’s blood by loading it up with these healing platelets.
The process involves taking a syringe of the patient’s blood and then spinning it in a centrifuge to separate out the red blood cells, leaving behind a yellowish serum that contains four to five times the number of platelets and anti-inflammatory white blood cells that are found in the equivalent amount of blood.
“Many studies suggest that platelet-rich plasma may help in the healing process by concentrating the growth factors all at once in the correct location,” says Professor Funk.
And because the treatment is derived from the patient’s own body, the risk of adverse reactions is greatly reduced, making the process safe.
To date, studies have shown vampire therapy to be effective in the treatment of arthritic knees, wound healing, pulled muscles and tendons, hair loss, tooth loss, and even broken bones.