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Depress Anxiety. 2010 Apr;27(4):327-38. doi: 10.1002/da.20686.

Depression gets old fast: do stress and depression accelerate cell aging?

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, California, USA. Owen.Wolkowitz@ucsf.edu

Erratum in

  • Depress Anxiety. 2010 Jul;27(7):693.

Abstract

Depression has been likened to a state of "accelerated aging," and depressed individuals have a higher incidence of various diseases of aging, such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, and dementia. Chronic exposure to certain interlinked biochemical pathways that mediate stress-related depression may contribute to "accelerated aging," cell damage, and certain comorbid medical illnesses. Biochemical mediators explored in this theoretical review include the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (e.g., hyper- or hypoactivation of glucocorticoid receptors), neurosteroids, such as dehydroepiandrosterone and allopregnanolone, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, excitotoxicity, oxidative and inflammatory stress, and disturbances of the telomere/telomerase maintenance system. A better appreciation of the role of these mediators in depressive illness could lead to refined models of depression, to a re-conceptualization of depression as a whole body disease rather than just a "mental illness," and to the rational development of new classes of medications to treat depression and its related medical comorbidities.

Copyright 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID:
20376837
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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