Klotho is a protein hormone produced naturally in a person’s brain and kidney. It comes in several forms and has an effect on a variety of bodily systems. Despite not being able to cross the blood-brain barrier, studies have shown that klotho has the ability to alter a person’s brain function, resulting in improved cognition, better motor functions, and a stronger memory.
For this reason, klotho has been suggested as a treatment for diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. It also has potential as a treatment for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to muscle weakness and eventual loss of muscle control. There are three characteristics of klotho that make it an ideal candidate to treat ALS: it is anti-inflammatory, pro-myelinating, and anti-oxidative.
- It is Anti-Inflammatory
One of the key factors in the progression of ALS is inflammation. There is a growing body of evidence that inflammation in the central nervous system contributes to the loss of neurons that occurs with ALS. Anti-inflammatory medications have been shown to slow the progression of ALS by reducing the inflammation around the neurons. Since the klotho protein has the ability to interact with inflammatory mediators, it makes klotho therapy a great candidate for reducing the inflammation associated with ALS, potentially slowing the progression of the disease and prolonging patients’ lives.
- It is Pro-Myelinating
Myelin is a combination of proteins and lipids that form a protective sheath around the fibers of neurons. It is essential in insulating the axons and transmitting signals from neuron to neuron. When myelin is removed from the neurons, the axons become damaged and signals can no longer be transmitted. In the case of ALS, the patient loses muscle strength and control. Klotho has been shown to stimulate the production of the cells that make myelin. This could potentially re-myelinate the axons of neurons that have been damaged and allow patients with ALS to keep their muscle control.
- It is Anti-Oxidative
Oxidative stress is an imbalance in a cell’s production of reactive oxygen species and antioxidant defenses. It causes a variety of problems in a person’s body. In addition, it is thought to be one of the causes of ALS by contributing to the death of motor neurons. One way to combat ALS is to correct this imbalance by increasing the antioxidant defenses within cells. Klotho has been shown to be anti-oxidative by improving the function of superoxide dismutase. This molecule is a major cellular antioxidant. By improving its function, klotho can potentially prevent the loss of nerve cells.
The klotho protein is produced by all people in some amount, and that amount typically decreases as a person ages. A small number of people produce more klotho normally and maintain higher levels of the protein throughout their lives. These people generally live longer and suffer fewer of the effects and diseases associated with aging. In addition, klotho production that is less than normal has been associated with an increase in the effects and diseases associated with aging. Therefore, it makes sense to study klotho as a potential treatment for people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, and ALS. The properties of this protein, including its ability to reduce inflammation, increase myelin production, and relieve oxidative stress, make it a great candidate to slow or even completely stop the progression of ALS as well as the other diseases.