Telomere Effect: The Mind-Body Connection Biology

Telomeres-Flickr-AJC1Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel’s research shows that the length and health of one’s telomeres are a biological underpinning of the long-hypothesized mind-body connection.

Dr. Blackburn is the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering telomeres, telomerase, and their role in the aging process.

Dr. Epel is the Director of the Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Lab, and the Center for Obesity Assessment, Study, & Treatment, (COAST), Associate Director of the Center for Health and Community, and Associate Director of the NIH-funded UCSF Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC). She studies psychological, social, and behavioral processes related to chronic psychological stress that accelerate biological aging, with a focus on the telomere/telomerase maintenance system. She also studies the interconnections between emotional processes, eating, and metabolism.

Most of us have an intellectual understanding about the importance of getting enough quality sleep, exercise, and food.  We feel stress and if we believe it is harmful, there can be impacts on our telomeres.

This book explains what to do to improve your telomeres and your health.

Telomere are the an essential part of the human cells that affect how our cells age.1,2


Source: “What is a Telomere?”, https://www.tasciences.com/what-is-a-telomere/

1. Jaskelioff M, et al. Telomerase reactivation reverses tissue degeneration in aged telomerase-deficient mice. Nature. 2011;469:102-107.
2. Sahin E, DePinho RA. Linking functional decline of telomeres, mitochondria and stem cells during ageing. Nature. 2010;464:520-528.

[Photo: Flickr user AJC1]

Sleep Helps Detoxify the Brain – Journal Science

Sleep_Pedrosimoes7Animal research indicates that the brain uses sleep to remove metabolic waste products, including those linked to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as reported in the journal Science. Sleep is vital and the data keeps coming in to back it up.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center used advanced imaging technology to examine the brains of mice during sleep. They found that brain cells contract significantly during sleep, expanding the area between cells by as much as 60 percent. This increase in the space between cells enables greater flow of cerebrospinal fluid, increasing the removal of beta-amyloid proteins. The accumulation of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain is believed to be a primary contributor to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a leading cause of dementia in the elderly.

Read the summary at Swanson Health Products, Sleep Helps Detoxify the Brain. or read the source summary from the journal Science (Lulu X, Hongyi K, et al. Sleep Drives Metabolic Clearance from the Adult Brain. Science. 2013 October; 342 (6156):373-377. doi: 10.1126/science.1241224.)

[Image source: Flickr: Above, feature]

Sleep Therapy Seen as an Aid for Depression – NYTimes.com

A student demonstrating equipment at Colleen Carney’s sleep lab at Ryerson University. Curing insomnia for people with depression could double their chances of a full recovery according to new scientific research.

The new report, from a team at Ryerson University in Toronto, found that 87 percent of patients who resolved their insomnia in four biweekly talk therapy sessions also saw their depression symptoms dissolve after eight weeks of treatment, either with an antidepressant drug or a placebo pill — almost twice the rate of those who could not shake their insomnia.

Full-blown insomnia is more serious than the sleep problems most people occasionally have. To qualify for a diagnosis, people must have endured at least a month of chronic sleep loss that has caused problems at work, at home or in important relationships.

The therapy that Dr. Manber, Dr. Carney and the other researchers are using is called cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia, or CBT-I for short. The therapist teaches people to establish a regular wake-up time and stick to it; get out of bed during waking periods; avoid eating, reading, watching TV or similar activities in bed; and eliminate daytime napping.

Read the entire article at the NYTimes.com, Sleep Therapy Seen as an Aid for Depression, published November 18, 2013.

[Image from Flickr: Carlos Martz]