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Exploring the link between depression and accelerated cellular aging: telomeres hold the key

Authors Yu R, Woo JW

Received 11 May 2015

Accepted for publication 23 September 2015

Published 22 December 2015 Volume 2016:6 Pages 1—12


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Iryna Leshchyns'ka

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Nikolay Dokholyan

Ruby Yu, Jean Woo

Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR, China

Abstract: Accumulating evidence suggests that telomeres may be a marker for biological aging and telomere length may be affected by multifactorial influences, including cumulative exposure to depression. Associations with telomere length have been reported for major depressive disorder, lifetime duration of depression, higher depression severity, and history of depression. The exact underling mechanisms for these associations have yet to be fully elucidated; however, oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, dysregulated hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, and altered cortisol levels may be important biochemical mediators. These mediators could also be influenced by psychological stress, unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, or other potential factors, such as childhood abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety that are commonly associated with depression. As such, stress reduction and lifestyle interventions that may affect the telomere maintenance system should be considered for individuals with depression.

Keywords: depression, telomere length, biomarkers, cellular ageing

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