Stress Shortens Life

Posted on August 15, 2016

In today's increasingly high-paced world, stress has become part and parcel of our lives. It is well-known that chronic stress and depression are detrimental to our well-being and we are often able to tell its physical manifestation in a loved one or close friend. Can we take that one step further and claim that stress affects how long we live?

To this end, researchers have demonstrated recently for the first time that higher level of stress and depression is linked to accelerated aging from a genetic perspective.

It is known the rate of aging is dependent on various environmental factors. Here, the foray into identifying “stress/longevity genes” was started in C. elegans, a model organism that is commonly used in biomedical research. It was earlier reported that when C. elegans were exposed to the drug mianserin (an antidepressant used in the treatment of psychiatric disorders), there was a significant increase in the lifespan of the worms.

Using bioinformatics analyses, it was subsequently found that there were alterations in 241 genes after mianserin administration in C. elegans. Furthermore, when compared to humans, 347 similar genes in humans were identified. The 347 human genes were in turn compared with a genome-wide dataset from 3,577 older adults. From this analysis, 134 overlapping genes possibly associated with depression were found. The top gene from these 134 genes was ANK3, a gene discovered in recent years to be linked to mental disorders.

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Category(s):Stress Management

Source material from Brain Blogger

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