Klotho Protein’s Utility in Neurodegeneration Backed by New Research

New research performed by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco confirms and builds upon the previous exploration into the utility of the klotho protein in extending cognitive powers into old age. According to the findings, published in Cell Reports journal, klotho, a naturally occurring protein, could be utilized in producing effective treatments against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

What is Klotho Protein?

Klotho is a naturally occurring protein produced in the human brain and kidneys and circulated as a hormone. It plays a vital role in several life-extending procedures, such as the release of insulin and the growth of fibroblasts, the cells responsible for the production of collagen. Elevated production of klotho protein in humans has been shown to be linked with elevated lifespans; the results have also been corroborated in other animal species, confirming the importance of klotho protein in homeostatic processes. Overexpression of klotho protein is also connected positively with cognition and neural resilience, two key factors in avoiding neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The levels of klotho protein drop off with age and with constant stress. The new research stresses the importance of producing klotho-based treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, but also opens an enquiry into whether klotho levels drop off due to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases or dropping klotho levels cause cognitive diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

The study showed that younger mice who received klotho supplements exhibited drastically improved cognition, while older mice were quick to respond to klotho supplements: just a single klotho shot produced a beneficial reaction just two days later. The cognitive benefits of klotho lasted more than two weeks, further demonstrating the efficacy of the protein in aiding cognition in adult mammals.