Depression Linked to Telomere Enzyme, Aging, Chronic Disease

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Owen M. Wolkowitz, MDWolkowitzUCSF News – May 22, 2013

The first symptoms of major depression may be behavioral, but the common mental illness is based in biology — and not limited to the brain.

In recent years, some studies have linked major, long-term depression with life-threatening chronic disease and with earlier death, even after lifestyle risk factors have been taken into account.

Now a research team led by Owen Wolkowitz, MD, professor of psychiatry at UC San Francisco, has found that within cells of the immune system, activity of an enzyme called telomerase is greater, on average, in untreated individuals with major depression. The preliminary findings from his latest, ongoing study was reported Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco.

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