Accelerated cellular aging in depressed individuals associated with increased mortality risk


Sumary of Accelerated cellular aging in depressed individuals associated with increased mortality risk:

  • Cells from healthy individuals with major depressive disorder were found to have higher than expected rates of methylation at specific sites on their DNA, when compared to cells from healthy individuals without MDD, according to a study by a multidisciplinary team of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and University of California San Francisco scientists, in collaboration with others..
  • Methylation patterns in individuals with MDD suggested that their DNA methylation cellular age was, on average, accelerated relative to matched healthy controls..
  • In the study, published in Translational Psychiatry, blood samples from 49 individuals with MDD were compared to 60 healthy control subjects of the same chronological age using the ‘GrimAge’ clock–a mathematical algorithm designed to predict an individual’s remaining lifespan based on cellular methylation patterns..
  • Individuals with MDD showed a significantly higher GrimAge score, suggesting increased mortality risk compared to healthy individuals of the same chronological age–an average of approximately two years on the GrimAge clock..
  • The methylation patterns associated with mortality risk persisted even after accounting for lifestyle factors like smoking and BMI..
  • These findings provide new insight into the increased mortality and morbidity associated with the condition, suggesting that there is an underlying biological mechanism accelerating cellular aging in some MDD sufferers..
  • MDD is associated with higher incidence and mortality related to increased rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease among sufferers..
  • Related Stories “One of the things that’s remarkable about depression is that sufferers have unexpectedly higher rates of age-related physical illnesses and early mortality, even after accounting for things like suicide and lifestyle habits,”.
  • said Dr. Owen Wolkowitz, professor of psychiatry and a member of UCSF’s Weill Institute for Neurosciences, co-senior author of the study..
  • The researchers say that they don’t yet know if depression causes altered methylation in certain individuals, or if depression and methylation are both related to another underlying factor….

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