February 07, 2017, 11:55
Researchers from the Medical Center at the Free University of Amsterdam, together with American doctors, conducted a study designed to find out how periods of depression affect the human body.
Scientists examined blood samples from 2,407 volunteers. A third of the study participants were depressed at the time of the experiment, some suffered from it in the recent past, the rest had never been in a depressive mood in their lives. Blood samples of all participants in the experiment were examined for signs of premature cellular aging.
The researchers focused on studying changes in the terminal sections of chromosomes, the so-called telomeres, which store the genetic code of DNA molecules. Telomeres shorten during cell division, and measuring their length is one way to determine a person’s biological age.
In the course of the study, it turned out that those of the subjects who suffer from depression or had it in the past have significantly shorter telomeres than people who have never fallen into depression.
Thus, scientific experiments have proven that depression accelerates biological aging, especially in people with particularly severe forms of chronic depression.
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