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BACKGROUND Depression is associated with an unusually high rate of aging-related illnesses and early mortality. One aspect of "accelerated aging" in depression may be shortened leukocyte telomeres. When telomeres critically shorten, as often occurs with repeated mitoses or in response to oxidation and inflammation, cells may die. Indeed, leukocyte telomere(More)
OBJECTIVES The "neurotrophin hypothesis" of depression posits a role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in depression, although it is unknown whether BDNF is more involved in the etiology of depression or in the mechanism of action of antidepressants. It is also unknown whether pre-treatment serum BDNF levels predict antidepressant response. (More)
BACKGROUND Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes in adulthood. Adverse childhood experiences are also associated with shortened leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in adults, suggesting accelerated cell aging. No studies have yet assessed the relationship of ACEs to LTL in individuals with major(More)
Elevated circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines are associated with symptoms of depression, and disorders involving chronic inflammation are often co-morbid with major depression. Since healthy immune regulation is accomplished through counter-balancing effects of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, we hypothesized that depressed subjects (compared to(More)
Many psychiatric illnesses are associated with early mortality and with an increased risk of developing physical diseases that are more typically seen in the elderly. Moreover, certain psychiatric illnesses may be associated with accelerated cellular aging, evidenced by shortened leukocyte telomere length (LTL), which could underlie this association.(More)
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability in the developed world, yet broadly effective treatments remain elusive. The primary aim of this pilot study was to investigate the efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) monotherapy, compared to sertraline monotherapy, for patients with acute MDD. This open-label,(More)
Accelerated cell aging, indexed in peripheral leukocytes by telomere shortness and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) by telomerase activity, has been reported in several studies of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the relevance of these peripheral measures for brain indices that are presumably more directly related to MDD(More)
Several psychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder (MDD), are associated with increased blood markers of oxidative stress. The relevance of this to the oxidation-sensitive hippocampus (HC) is unknown. We investigated the relationship between peripheral oxidative stress markers and HC volume in unmedicated individuals with MDD (n=16) and(More)
BACKGROUND Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfated ester DHEA-sulfate (DHEA-S), (together DHEA[S]), are the most abundant adrenal steroids in humans and are found in blood and the brain, where they function as neurosteroids with direct receptor affinities. Preclinical studies suggest that DHEA(S) has antidepressant/neuroprotective properties, and(More)
Structural imaging studies investigating the relationship between hippocampal volume (HCV) and peripheral measures of glucocorticoids (GCs) have produced conflicting results in both normal populations and in individuals with MDD, raising the possibility of other modulating factors. In preclinical studies, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate ester(More)