If you own the smart gene, you will live longer and have improved intellectual and cognitive achievements, research shows.
Study has found that,one out of five people are carriers of a smart gene which is linked to longer life span, bigger frontal brain and augmented mental capacity. People carrying this gene, are better and more precise at planning and making decision.
The damage of human cognitive abilities as they get older was already a known fact, but this study helped scientists understand that elements like this protein, klotho, can offer people a boost and confer flexibility while aging, explained lead author Dena Dubal from UCSF.
Genetic alternations in klotho, could give hints about the health of the brain and find methods to protect people from disastrous disease that damage the brain cells as we get older, like Alzheimer or other dementia related disorders.
Klotho is a protein that can be found in kidney and liver functions but also in many other body system actions.
One out of five people, is carrier of a single copy of the variant, called KL-VS, which lifts the levels of the protein and is related with living longer and the better functioning of the heart and kidney. There is a group of people, around 3% of the population, who own two copies and this is associated with living shorter.
For the experiment, researchers scanned the brains of 422 women and men with the age of 53 and above, and tested them for the klotho gene.
Results showed that the individuals owning a single copy of the gene, had a bigger right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain which is prone to shrinking with aging. Loosing neurons in this area may be at fault for older people being easily distracted and difficulties in multitasking.
The next mission for the researchers, would be to establish whether the protein increase associated with carrying one copy of KL-VS can somehow outweigh the cognitive shortfall provoked by the disease.
An earlier research, financed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, discovered that the protein improves the memory, thinking and learning skills. Klotho, might augment the brain’s ability in the everyday intellectual assignments, explained neuroscience professor from the Univeristy of California, Lennart Mucke.
Humans who own one copy of the variant have lower chances of suffering strokes, while the ones owning two copies have increased risks of strokes.
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