According to a report published by Lennart Mucke, MD, director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, and senior author on the study, along with Joseph B. Martin Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience at University of California, San Francisco in the Journal of Neuroscience, raising the levels of klotho, a life-extending protein, can protect against learning and memory deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, despite the accumulation of amyloid-beta and tau, two Alzheimer-related toxins in the brain.
Klotho decreases naturally with aging, which leads to a decline in cognitive ability. An earlier study revealed that having a genetic variant that increases klotho levels is associated with better cognition in normal, healthy individuals, and experimentally elevating klotho in mice enhances learning and memory.
The findings are remarkable. Klotho can improve cognition in a diseased brain despite the fact that it’s riddled with toxins. The next step for the researchers will be to identify and test drugs that can elevate klotho or mimic its effects on the brain.