PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Accelerated cellular aging associated with mortality seen in depressed individuals

DNA markers in cells of MDD sufferers appear 2 years older than in healthy controls, researchers say

2021-04-06
(Press-News.org) Cells from individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) 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 UC San Francisco scientists, in collaboration with others. Methylation is a process by which DNA is chemically modified at specific sites, resulting in changes in the expression of certain genes. Methylation of particular sets of genes, called "DNA methylation clocks," typically change in predictable ways as people age, but the rate of these changes varies between people. Methylation patterns in individuals with MDD suggested that their cellular age was, on average, accelerated relative to matched healthy controls.

In the study, published April 6, 2021 in Translational Psychiatry, blood samples from individuals with MDD were analyzed for methylation patterns 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 individuals with MDD showed no outward signs of age-related pathology, as they and the healthy controls were screened for physical health before entry into the study. 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.

"This is shifting the way we understand depression, from a purely mental or psychiatric disease, limited to processes in the brain, to a whole-body disease," said Katerina Protsenko, a medical student at UCSF and lead author of the study. "This should fundamentally alter the way we approach depression and how we think about it - as a part of overall health."

MDD is one of the most prevalent health concerns globally. According to the World health Organization, some 300 million people (4.4% of the population) suffer from some form of depression. MDD is associated with higher incidence and mortality related to increased rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease among sufferers.

"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 Owen Wolkowitz, MD, professor of psychiatry and a member of UCSF's Weill Institute for Neurosciences, co-senior author of the study. "That's always been a mystery, and that's what led us to look for signs of aging at the cellular level."

The researchers collected blood samples from 49 individuals with MDD who were unmedicated prior to the study and 60 healthy control subjects of the same chronological age. They analyzed the methylation rates of both groups using the GrimAge clock. While there are numerous methylation-based longevity algorithms, GrimAge is the only one based specifically on methylation patterns associated with mortality.

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. It is possible that some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to produce specific methylation patterns in response to stressors, but this has not been well-studied. Alterations in methylation patterns have previously been observed in individuals with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Moving forward, the researchers hope to determine whether pharmacological treatments or therapy may mitigate some methylation changes related to MDD in hopes of normalizing the cellular aging process in affected individuals before it advances. Although the GrimAge methylation clock has been associated with mortality in other populations, no studies have yet determined whether this methylation pattern also predicts mortality in MDD.

"As we continue our studies, we hope to find out whether addressing the MDD with anti-depressants or other treatments alters the methylation patterns, which would give us some indication that these patterns are dynamic and can be changed," said Synthia Mellon, PhD, professor in the Department of Ob/Gyn & Reproductive Sciences at UCSF and co-senior author of the study.

INFORMATION:

Authors: Katerina Protsenko was the study's lead author. Owen M. Wolkowitz, MD, Synthia H. Mellon, PhD, and Victor I. Reus, MD were the study's co-senior authors. The study was conducted in collaboration with Ruoting Yang, Rasha Hammamieh, Marti Jett, Aarti Gautam, and other scientists from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD.

Funding: This study was funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (Grant Number R01-MH083784), the O'Shaughnessy Foundation, the Tinberg family, and grants from the UCSF Academic Senate, and the UCSF Research Evaluation and Allocation Committee (REAC). This project was also supported by National Institutes of Health/National Center for Research Resources (NIH/NCRR) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH, through UCSF-CTSI Grant Numbers UL1 RR024131 and TL-1 TR001871

Disclosures: The authors have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.

About UCSF: The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF Health, which serves as UCSF's primary academic medical center, includes top-ranked specialty hospitals and other clinical programs, and has affiliations throughout the Bay Area. UCSF School of Medicine also has a regional campus in Fresno. Learn more at ucsf.edu, or see our Fact Sheet.

Follow UCSF END



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

How preprints accelerated science communication during the pandemic

How preprints accelerated science communication during the pandemic
2021-04-06
During the early phase of the pandemic, approximately 40% of the COVID-19 literature was shared as preprints - freely available manuscripts that are shared prior to peer-review. In a new study publishing in the open access journal PLOS Biology, researchers led by Dr Jonathon Coates (Queen Mary University of London), Dr Nicholas Fraser (Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Germany) and Dr Liam Brierley (University of Liverpool) explore the crucial role of preprint servers in hosting COVID-19 related science and how these preprints have been used to disseminate knowledge of COVID-19, leading to cultural shifts in journalistic and policy practices. There has been a rapid and incredible scientific response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with research ...

Low-cost technology reduces the cost and carbon footprint of pressurized irrigation

Low-cost technology reduces the cost and carbon footprint of pressurized irrigation
2021-04-06
Innovation and advances in technology have facilitated agricultural activity in recent years, as traditional irrigation techniques have been supplanted by pressure-basedones, improving water efficiency but increasing energy dependence. This drives up the Agriculture sector's energy costs, some of the highest in the European Union. With the aim of increasing the energy efficiency of irrigation, researchers at the Hydraulics and Irrigation Group with the María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence,at the Department of Agronomy of the University of Cordoba (DAUCO), Juan Antonio Rodríguez Díaz and Jorge García Morillo, have field-tested a low-cost technology that takes advantage of the excess pressure on the grid to generate energy. This ...

A new type of battery that can charge ten times faster than a lithium-ion battery created

A new type of battery that can charge ten times faster than a lithium-ion battery created
2021-04-06
It is difficult to imagine our daily life without lithium-ion batteries. They dominate the small format battery market for portable electronic devices, and are also commonly used in electric vehicles. At the same time, lithium-ion batteries have a number of serious issues, including: a potential fire hazard and performance loss at cold temperatures; as well as a considerable environmental impact of spent battery disposal. According to the leader of the team of researchers, Professor in the Department of Electrochemistry at St Petersburg University END ...

First air quality profile of two sub-Saharan African cities finds troubling news

First air quality profile of two sub-Saharan African cities finds troubling news
2021-04-06
Ambient air pollution is a global public health crisis, causing more than 4.9 million premature deaths per year around the world. In Africa, it has surpassed AIDS as the leading cause of premature death. According to one study, air pollution--specifically, fine particulate matter (PM2.5)--may cause at least as many as 780,000 premature deaths annually in Africa and worsen a significant number of diseases, including asthma, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, are both large metropolises. However, neither Kinshasa (population 14. 3 million) nor Brazzaville (population 2.4 million) have had comprehensive air quality monitoring programs. ...

New multiple sclerosis subtypes identified using artificial intelligence

2021-04-06
Scientists at UCL have used artificial intelligence (AI) to identify three new multiple sclerosis (MS) subtypes. Researchers say the groundbreaking findings will help identify those people more likely to have disease progression and help target treatments more effectively. MS affects over 2.8 million people globally and 130,000 in the UK, and is classified into four* 'courses' (groups), which are defined as either relapsing or progressive. Patients are categorised by a mixture of clinical observations, assisted by MRI brain images, and patients' symptoms. These observations guide the timing and choice of treatment. For this study, published in Nature Communications, researchers wanted to find out if there were any - as yet unidentified - patterns ...

Houston flooding polluted reefs more than 100 miles offshore

Houston flooding polluted reefs more than 100 miles offshore
2021-04-06
HOUSTON - (April 6, 2021) - Runoff from Houston's 2016 Tax Day flood and 2017's Hurricane Harvey flood carried human waste onto coral reefs more than 100 miles offshore in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, according to a Rice University study. "We were pretty shocked," said marine biologist Adrienne Correa, co-author of the study in Frontiers in Marine Science. "One thing we always thought the Flower Garden Banks were safe from was terrestrial runoff and nutrient pollution. It's a jolt to realize that in these extreme events, it's not just the salt marsh or the seagrass that we need to worry about. Offshore ecosystems can be affected too." The Flower Garden Banks sit atop several salt domes near the edge ...

Scientists reveal elusive inner workings of antioxidant enzyme with therapeutic potential

Scientists reveal elusive inner workings of antioxidant enzyme with therapeutic potential
2021-04-06
Mitochondria, known as the powerhouses within human cells, generate the energy needed for cell survival. However, as a byproduct of this process, mitochondria also produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). At high enough concentrations, ROS cause oxidative damage and can even kill cells. An overabundance of ROS has been connected to various health issues, including cancers, neurological disorders, and heart disease. An enzyme called manganese superoxide dismutase, or MnSOD, uses a mechanism involving electron and proton transfers to lower ROS levels in mitochondria, thus preventing oxidative damage and maintaining cell health. More than a quarter of known enzymes also rely on electron and proton transfers to facilitate cellular activities ...

Spin defects under control

Spin defects under control
2021-04-06
Boron nitride is a technologically interesting material because it is very compatible with other two-dimensional crystalline structures. It therefore opens up pathways to artificial heterostructures or electronic devices built on them with fundamentally new properties. About a year ago, a team from the Institute of Physics at Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Wuerzburg in Bavaria, Germany, succeeded in creating spin defects, also known as qubits, in a layered crystal of boron nitride and identifying them experimentally. Recently, the team led by Professor ...

Americans are super-spreaders of COVID-19 misinformation

2021-04-06
Misinformation about COVID-19 is spreading from the United States into Canada, undermining efforts to mitigate the pandemic. A study led by McGill University shows that Canadians who use social media are more likely to consume this misinformation, embrace false beliefs about COVID-19, and subsequently spread them. Many Canadians believe conspiracy theories, poorly-sourced medical advice, and information trivializing the virus--even though news outlets and political leaders in the country have generally focused on providing reliable scientific information. How then, is misinformation spreading so rapidly? "A lot of Canadians are struggling to understand COVID-19 denialism and anti-vaccination attitudes among their loved ones," says ...

Deep learning networks prefer the human voice -- just like us

Deep learning networks prefer the human voice -- just like us
2021-04-06
New York, NY--April 6, 2021--The digital revolution is built on a foundation of invisible 1s and 0s called bits. As decades pass, and more and more of the world's information and knowledge morph into streams of 1s and 0s, the notion that computers prefer to "speak" in binary numbers is rarely questioned. According to new research from Columbia Engineering, this could be about to change. A new study from Mechanical Engineering Professor Hod Lipson and his PhD student Boyuan Chen proves that artificial intelligence systems might actually reach higher levels of performance if they are programmed with sound files of human language rather than with numerical data labels. The researchers discovered that in a side-by-side comparison, a neural network whose "training labels" consisted ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Heart patients advised to move more to avoid heart attacks and strokes

New amphibious centipede species discovered in Okinawa and Taiwan

Scientists may detect signs of extraterrestrial life in the next 5 to 10 years

The fate of the planet

Tarantula's ubiquity traced back to the cretaceous

On the pulse of pulsars and polar light

Neural plasticity depends on this long noncoding RNA's journey from nucleus to synapse

A new guide for communicating plant science

The future of particle accelerators is here

Simulations reveal how dominant SARS-CoV-2 strain binds to host, succumbs to antibodies

New understanding of the deleterious immune response in rheumatoid arthritis

The Trojan-Horse mechanism: How networks reduce gender segregation

Science Advances publishes proteomics technology from Oblique Therapeutics AB

Female protective effect: Yale researchers find clues to sex differences in autism

Researchers revise indicator of mobility limitation in older adults

Study shows past COVID-19 infection doesn't fully protect young people against reinfection

A new super-Earth detected orbiting a red dwarf star

Differences in national food security best explained by household income, not agriculture

Hidden magma pools pose eruption risks that we can't yet detect

COVID-19: Scientists identify human genes that fight infection

New CRISPR technology offers unrivaled control of epigenetic inheritance

How tangled proteins kill brain cells, promote Alzheimer's, CTE

Fitted filtration efficiency of double masking during COVID-19 pandemic

Fit matters most when double masking to protect yourself from COVID-19

Thermoelectric material discovery sets stage for new forms of electric power in the future

Researchers develop microscopic theory of polymer gel

Studies suggest people with blood cancers may not be optimally protected after COVID-19 vaccination

Are our oil and gas pipelines safe during an earthquake?

Virtual humans are equal to real ones in helping people practice new leadership skills

Promising results from first-in-humans study of a novel PET radiopharmaceutical

[Press-News.org] Accelerated cellular aging associated with mortality seen in depressed individuals
DNA markers in cells of MDD sufferers appear 2 years older than in healthy controls, researchers say