Klotho Gene Variant Found to Enhance Cognition

According to new research from Pennsylvania State University, the Klotho gene, which relates to lifespan, has been connected with improved cognitive functioning. Authors Dena B. Dubal et al. report that aging is the primary risk factor for cognitive decline and an emerging health threat worldwide. In relation, determining whether or not anti-aging factors such as the Klotho gene can counteract cognitive decline was the goal of this study.

The Klotho protein can impart multiple effects; according to the report, it suppresses insulin signaling, regulates ion channel clustering and transport, and more. It also regulates aging-dependent pathways, although many of its physiologic functions are aging-independent. Here, the authors studied the effects of lifespan-extending variant of the human Klotho gene, KL-VS, on cognition.

Since this allele increases klotho levels in blood serum, the authors analyzed transgenic mice with an overexpression of klotho. Results indicated these mice performed better than controls in multiple tests of learning and memory. Increasing klotho in mice also enhanced long-term potentiation and enriched synaptic GluN2B, a receptor subunit with key functions in learning and memory. Klotho effects were evident in young mice as well as old, suggesting independence from the aging process.

In relation, during the 2013 IFSCC Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Fred Zülli, of Mibelle Biochemistry, discussed stimulating the Klotho gene to achieve anti-aging effects in cosmetics. Specifically, he described assessments of rapamycin on the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and subsequent increase in lifespan longevity. This concept was applied to cosmetics to induce health and skin benefits. Perhaps these new findings from Dubal et. al further support this work?

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