Frequent depression leads to premature aging

Feb­ru­ary 07, 2017, 11:55

Photo: Bassi Baba

Pho­to: Bassi Baba

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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The opin­ion of the edi­tors may not coin­cide with the opin­ion of the author of the arti­cle.

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