Translational Psychiatry: Depression Accelerates Human Cellular Aging

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The University of California has shown that people with major depressive disorder (MDD) are also susceptible to increased levels of epigenetic changes in DNA. Scientists have noted that they have accelerated cell aging and a high risk of early death. The research results are published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

The study involved 49 people with MDD. They took a blood test to determine the level of methylation. With age, DNA methylation changes, which makes it possible to use it to determine the biological age of a person. The results showed that people with depression had a higher cellular age compared to healthy people in the 60 control group.

The work used the mathematical algorithm GrimAge, it is able to calculate how long a person has to live. People with depressive disorder are at greater risk of death than healthy people. It should be noted that persons with MDD did not look older, they did not have external age-related pathologies. But at the same time, methylation patterns showed more accelerated aging, even compared to people with obesity or smokers.

According to the WHO, around 300 million people worldwide suffer from MDD. Earlier studies have linked this disease to diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases.