Gene linked to longevity and brain volume

6 Feb

The enzyme Klotho affects the sensitivity of cells to the hormone insulin. The amount and type of Klotho in cell membranes seem to affect how long an animal will live. These factors are under genetic control.

Research published in The Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology suggests that these genes may also play a role in brain volume. From the paper’s conclusion:

“Our data reveal that carrying a longevity-promoting variant of KL is associated with greater frontal brain volume and executive function. In two independent cohorts of healthy, cognitively normal older adults, carrying one copy of the KL-VS haplotype was strongly associated with greater volume of rDLPFC, a region vulnerable to structural and functional decline with aging.[8, 43-46] This advantage was limited to heterozygotes, as homozygotes tended to show reduced volume and function. The results of this study suggest that genetic influences on longevity, such as KL variants, may also promote structural and functional integrity of the brain.”

 

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