Version of Gene Linked to Longer Life Also Linked to Better Cognition

New research from scientists at the Gladstone Institutes and UC San Francisco suggests that a variant 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 the KL-VS variant of the Klotho gene. Scientists have found that people carrying this variant generally have better cognitive skills than non-carriers, which may also lessen their chances of developing Alzheimer's disease.

In the recent study, scientists increased levels of this Klotho variant in mice and 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 began supporting a Klotho-related drug development program by Dr. Carmela Abraham at Boston University School of Medicine in 2009. Visit the ADDF's online grants portfolio to learn more about Dr. Abraham's work and all the promising drug programs we're funding.

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