Version of gene linked to longer life also linked to better cognition

New research suggests that a version of the Klotho gene, already linked to longer life and lower risk of cardiovascular disease, may also improve cognition throughout a person’s lifespan.

About one in five people carry this variant of the Klotho gene, and scientists found that carriers generally had better cognitive skills than non-carriers, which may also lessen their chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. 

By experimentally increasing levels of this Klotho variant in mice, researchers observed the mice performing better on learning and memory tasks.  This is a promising discovery for Alzheimer’s researchers, because it could point the way to new drugs that protect the brain from some dementias.

The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation has supported a Klotho-related drug development program by Dr. Carmela Abraham at Boston University School of Medicine since 2009.  Click here to learn more about the ADDF grants portfolio.

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