Chronic Anxiety and Shortening DNA Telomeres
Chronic Stress and Shortening DNA Telomeres
I would say, anxiety is a stronger intense form of anxiety. The roots of anxiety might have something to do with fear of losing something or overly obsessed with achieving something unavailable for the moment or even for a lifetime. Are you content with what you have? Chronic stress accelerates premature aging by shortening DNA telomeres. As telomeres get shorter, their structural integrity weakens, causing cells to age faster and die earlier. Usually, telomeres shorten as we age.
Telomere length is a marker of both biological and cellular aging. Stressful life have been linked to accelerated telomere shortening. Among people of the same age, shortened telomeres have been linked to an increased risk of cancers, heart disease, dementia and overall risk of death.
Additionally, headaches and migraines are believed to be caused by a disruption in levels of key neurotransmitters such as serotonin.
#Loneliness and Shortened Telomeres
A study conducted by scientists at the Vetmeduni Vienna in Austria examined the telomere length of isolated “lonely” African grey parrots compared to parrots with a partner. African grey parrots are highly social birds. They found that the telomere lengths of single parrots were shorter than those housed with a companion parrot.
A July 2012 study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) found that chronic phobic anxiety shortened telomere length in middle-aged and older women. The study concludes that untreated chronic phobic anxiety is a possible risk factor for accelerated aging.
Untreated depression creates biological changes and accelerates aging. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) shortens the length of telomeres. A team led by Owen Wolkowitz, MD, professor of psychiatry at UC San Francisco (UCSF) has been studying the biological link between chronic depression and an enzyme called telomerase which is linked to shorter telomeres.
Bottom line: Social isolation, untreated depression, anxiety attack/ anxiety disorder, phobic anxiety, all potentially lead to biological changes, telomere length and cellular aging.
 The findings of the Austrian study are published in the journal PLOS ONE.
 Shortened telomeres have been associated with chronic diseases and premature death in previous studies by Dr. Owen Wolkowitz and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
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