Klotho: Hope For Increased Longevity And Reduced Neurodegenerative Disease (Part 2)

In the first part of this two-part series, I provided a brief overview of klotho and its biological function in the body. Here, I describe a recent study on the role of klotho in neurodegenerative diseases.

Researchers have recently discovered a new protective quality of klotho protein in the brain. Klotho is a known anti-aging protein that also contains anti-inflammatory properties. In a paper published in Nature Scientific Reports, Nakao et al. describe how klotho not only prevents inflammation but also prevents brain cell death. This study could point to a new role of klotho as a protective protein against neurodegenerative diseases and aging in the brain.

A common characteristic of aging in humans is that oftentimes, the brain develops low-grade, chronic inflammation. This is referred to as ‘inflammaging’ and is a strong risk factor for multiple diseases including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and depression among others. Heightened inflammation in the brain has also been associated with cognitive deficits related to aging as well as the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

Interestingly, while klotho has primarily been studied in the context of inflammatory kidney diseases, the alpha-klotho form of the protein is highly abundant within the choroid plexus of the brain. This has led to the suspicion that klotho may play a large role in protecting the brain from inflammatory diseases and neurodegeneration.

Read the full article on Forbes.

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.