People who have a variant of a longevity gene have improved brain skills such as thinking, learning and memory. Researchers found that increasing levels of the gene, called KLOTHO, in mice made them smarter, possibly by increasing the strength of connections between nerve cells in the brain.
The study was published in Cell Reports. Those who have one copy of a variant of the KLOTHO gene, called KL-VS, tend to live longer and have lower chances of suffering a stroke whereas those who have two copies may live shorter lives and have a higher risk of stroke. The study also found that those with one copy performed better on cognitive tests regardless of age, sex or the presence of the apolipoprotein 4 gene, the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.