New York, Aug 9 (IANS) A single dose of a life-extending protein hormone — naturally produced in both kidney and brain — may lead to rapid improvement in cognitive and physical performance, indicating potential for the development of treatments for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, a study has shown.
The findings showed that administering hormone klotho like a drug improved cognition, including spatial learning and working memory, as well as the ability to navigate and to learn new tasks — deficiencies which may lead to age-related neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease — in young, ageing or impaired mice with normal or low levels of the hormone.
However, it remains unexplained how the piece of the klotho hormone that was injected into the bodies of the mice caused these effects since there is no evidence that klotho is able to enter the brain from the bloodstream, the researchers said.
“It makes us wonder about the connection between the body and the brain,” said Dena Dubal, Associate Professor at the University of California – San Francisco.
“What we saw with acute klotho administration may be similar to what happens with exercise, which also improves cognition and brain health, although we don’t know how,” she added in the paper published online in the journal Cell Reports.
Further, the beneficial effects in young mice occurred within hours of administering a dose of Klotho and far outlasted the time that klotho remained active in the body.
“It suggests that there is a long-lasting effect of even a single treatment and it probably has to do with the remodeling of synapses, the sites where communication among nerve cells takes place,” Dubal said.