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Mental Health

Mental Health Conditions May Damage RNA and Accelerate Aging

— April 17, 2024

Mental health disorders can lead to aging and age-related diseases.

As more and more research is conducted into the harms of mental health issues, it seems that there is no end to what poor mental health can do to a human being. As yet another example, recent research is showing that mental health conditions can damage RNA, and as a result, aging can be accelerated. This is obviously a concerning finding and something will require far more study and research to understand why this may be the case and what can be done about it.

Before getting too far into this discussion, it’s important to clarify what RNA is and what it does in the human body. RNA stands for ribonucleic acid, and it is a critical molecule in both cellular function and protein synthesis in the human body. RNA not only helps keep cells healthy, but it also helps them to perform their duties for a long time to come. When RNA function is degraded for one reason or another, cell health can be harmed, and aging may be accelerated.

With that background in place, it is important to note that research is showing how mental health issues might wind up leading to damage to the RNA inside the human body. If people have untreated mental health issues or are attempting to treat their mental health and not have much success, RNA damage could be seen. The processing function of RNA may be impaired, or there might be additional mutations or altered RNA structures.

Mental Health Conditions May Damage RNA and Accelerate Aging
Photo by Elīna Arāja from Pexels

Of course, it’s important to address mental health concerns for a variety of reasons, not just those related to aging. Good mental health will improve virtually everything in life, and the overall quality of life that a person enjoys is typically tied rather tightly to their overall mental health picture. Given the scale of the current mental health crisis, too many people are having to go through life in a suboptimal state of mind.

When RNA is damaged, it can wind up producing faulty proteins, disrupting cellular signaling pathways, impairing vital cell processes, and more. All of these things can contribute to what most people would consider the standard signs of aging. Not only that, but age-related diseases could become more likely as well, including things like cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disorders, metabolic dysfunction, and more. Across the board, it’s bad news when mental health is able to take a toll on RNA function in the body.

The message around mental health issues is clear – people need just as much help to deal with this part of their health as they need with their physical concerns. Mental health conditions take a toll on a person in every area of their life, and nothing is spared. With any luck, and more and more people understand the seriousness of the situation, more attention will be paid to how it can be confronted. The future should be brighter for future generations because of what is being learned today.


Mental health conditions may accelerate ageing by damaging RNA


Oxidative Stress-Induced Damage to RNA and DNA and Mortality in Individuals with Psychiatric Illness

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