Can we currently reverse the effects depression has on DNA

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Can we currently reverse the effects depression has on DNA

We've always known that depression can effect people in many ways, but now researchers have found that it can even affect your DNA. Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics conducted a study on depression and came across an interesting find. People suffering from depression had more mitochondrial DNA than other. (Mitochondria are organelles that produce energy for cells.) An increase in mitochondrial DNA led the researchers to believe that Mitochondria seemed to become inefficient under stress. Later they found that the depressed subjects had shorter telomeres than the healthy people. (Telomeres are the caps at the end ofour chromosomes that naturally shorten as we age, and the team began to question whether this process had been sped up by stress.) These molecular changes reflect the body's way of naturally coping with major stress. This is a problem because short telomeres are associated with shorter life spans.

Can we Currently Reverse the Effects Depression has on DNA?

Viewpoint #2Some scientist believe that the issues caused by depression can not be fully reversed with our current knowledge, and will have lasting effects. Researchers have discovered that experiencing repeated and severe trauma while growing up can permanently alter your DNA. This has a huge impact on a person’s predisposition to mental illness later in life.Scientists at the Max Plank Institute of Psychiatry examined the DNA of almost 2000 participants. Specifically, they looked at a gene named FKBP5. This gene helps create stress hormones, which is our body’s signal to freak out. Those of us with a specific version of this gene can have our DNA irreversibly altered by childhood stress. It was also found that depression can be genetic, so we can't do much for their DNA. Perhaps in the future.

Background InformationWhat Happens?

Article:- leaves-lasting-mark-dnaResearch:-

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Viewpoint #1I believe that the harmful effects depression has on your DNA can be reversed with our current knowledge. One example would be that when scientists stopped stressing the mice for about four weeks, their mitochondrial and telomere DNA then returned back to their normal state. This indicates that the changes are reversible.It is also proven that physical exercise can help stop depression and keep your DNA young.This study has exciting potential for future improved treatment of depression. Since the molecular changes in the DNA are reversible, there it will soon be easy to assess successful treatment is on a molecular level.

Statistics-Mental disorders can reduce life expectancy by 10 to 20 years-Depression in women is double than male-Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.

Experiment Scientist at Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics conducted a few studies. They examined the DNA of 11,000 people with stress-related depression and ended up finding a potent link between the level of stress and the length of mitochondria in the participant’s cells. At first they were skeptical so they subjected a group of lab mice to four weeks of stress. The scientists found out that the mice exhibited an increase in mitochondria, and a notable shortening of their teleomeres.

"Affects of trauma can be reversed in by appropriate interventions. Replace the traumatic environment with a relatively stress-free one. Traumatic environments can leave harmful marks. Good environments can slowly reverse this."

Science Journal Three: Cells and Systems - Anna

"It is true that their are measures to stop depression, but you may not be able to repair the damages it has done to your body on such a deep level quite yet" -Scientist in Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics


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