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New link between stress, depression and longevity in women

Published on 19th Jun 2015

Published on 19th June 2015

A new study published in Translational Psychiatry  has discovered a new possible connection between state of mind and bodily well-being. The theory that chronic psychological stress may determine premature ageing is supported by the presence of the recently found pleiotropic hormone klotho (a potential marker of biological ageing). Working as an aging regulator, klotho has the ability to prolong lifespan when over expressed, and enable aging phenotypes when its production by kidneys and choroid plexus of the brain is stopped. Also, those who posses a genetic variant in the Klotho gene are less predisposed to age-related disease, whilst high levels of serum klotho also ensure better daily functioning and cognitive activity.

The test/study consisted of collecting blood samples from 178 women, aged 30-40, out of which 90 were high-stress maternal caregivers for autistic children, and 88 were low-stressed mothers of typically developing children. Results show that unlike women who suffer lower degrees of stress, mothers subjected to high chronic stress registered lower levels of the longevity hormone klotho. More than that, researchers found that age-related decline occurs significantly in the category of women who are affected by moderate and severe depression.

This suggests that the psychosocial environment can be an influential factor in brain activity, general health and human lifespan. It is possible that lower levels of klotho are among causes of stress and depression, a finding which would help design treatments by supplementing the hormone and ameliorate mental health.
According to assistant professor Dubal of the USCF Department of Neurology "It will be important to figure out if higher levels of klotho can benefit mind and body health as we age. If so, therapeutics or lifestyle interventions that increase the longevity hormone could have a big impact on people's lives."

Read the full study here