Scientists have discovered a new gene variant that is linked to a longer life-span, as well as improved brain functionality in people. More interestingly, the study also found that the gene is present in every one out of five people around that is 20% of the population is a carrier of the gene. The findings could be helpful in the development of a solution for fighting devastating brain diseases that commonly occur in the old age. Diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which have no known treatment, could finally be cured with advancements in the findings of the study.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, have found a special gene variant in some people. The scientists claim that the gene helps people not only live longer, but also manage to keep healthy brains even as they age. Effectively speaking, the brain of people possessing the gene is likely to age at a much slower pace as compared to others who do not have the gene variant.
Scientists have named the gene KLOTHO, after a protein klotho that is produced in abundance in the presence of the gene. The protein, produced in the brain and kidney, is known to regulate several processes inside the body. The study has revealed that people having KLOTHO are good planners and decision-makers.
An assistant professor of the University’s department of neurology, Jennifer Yokoyama, said that genetic research is carried out with a special focus on diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Scientists carrying out the research explained that people having KLOTHO have around a region of their brain 10% more voluminous than that of others. This region is responsible for managing multiple tasks, and helps people stay focused. It is also the most vulnerable to atrophy with age. That is why old people have difficulty switching tasks.