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Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) not only helps reduce anxiety but also seems to protect against accelerated cellular aging, finds a study in Translational¬†Psychiatry. Researchers took blood samples from 46 patients with social anxiety disorder to assess the activity of two enzymes (telomerase and glutathione peroxidase) that protect telomeres, the small stretches of DNA that maintain the integrity of chromosomes. Telomere degradation is considered a marker of cellular aging and has been linked to psychiatric and other disorders. Following a nine-week online course of CBT, the participants provided another blood sample. The researchers found that after CBT, participants’ anxiety symptoms were reduced and the activity of telomerase and glutathione peroxidase was increased, with the degree of symptom reduction correlated with the degree of increased enzyme activity. (Monitor on Psychology)

Susie Bean Gives