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Funded Studies

Klotho and Parkinson’s disease

Study Rationale:                   

Genetic studies have identified a powerful “aging suppressor gene”, Klotho, that may play a role in delaying age-related declines in cellular and tissue functioning. Klotho has been detected in the circulatory system of both animals and humans. Although Klotho levels decrease with age and are associated with high mortality rates, even lower Klotho levels have been reported in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease compared to older adults with no loss of cognition. Though the anti-geronic function of Klotho has been studied in other neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, the role of Klotho in Parkinson disease has not been explored.


We hypothesize that circulating levels of Klotho are decreased in subjects with PD when compared to healthy controls.

Study Design:

This is a case-controlled study in which plasma Klotho levels will be measured in Parkinson’s disease and age- and sex- matched healthy control subjects. We will investigate whether the extent of Klotho levels correlates with parameters of clinical (both motor and non-motor) symptoms available through the Data Management Resource.

Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s disease:              

This study is a first step towards better understanding the potential link between Klotho and Parkinson disease. Successful completion of these studies may aid in our mechanistic understanding of Parkinson disease and may help reveal novel therapeutic targets.

 Next Steps for Development:

The next steps may include verifying these results in a validation cohort as well as klotho levels in a longitudinal cohort.


  • Laurie H. Sanders, PhD

    Durham, NC United States

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