Today’s Headlines: Depression, Show Tunes and Diabetic Breathalyzers

Clinical depression may accelerate aging process, study says: Severe depression may actually speed cellular aging, a new study reports. From studying the white blood cells of over 2,400 Dutch study participants, researchers “found that people with clinical depression had shorter telomeres than their healthy peers.” Telomeres, “strands of protective DNA that cap the tips of chromosomes within a cell” have been linked to a variety of age-related health problems. “Researchers said that based on telomere length, study subjects who suffered severe clinical depression for a period of two years actually aged seven to 10 years, when compared to healthy people.” Subjects with more severe and chronic depression had the shortest telomeres. (Los Angeles Times)

Singing show tunes may help people with dementia: To stay sharp, you might want to find a favorite musical: “New research shows that singing show tunes may be able to help dementia patients regain some cognitive skills.” In the four-month study, nursing home residents with moderate to severe dementia either joined in on group sing-alongs or sat and listened. Those who sang scored higher on cognitive tests than those who listened. The songs included “The Sound of Music,” “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and sessions met for 50 minutes three times a week. (CBS News

New ‘breathalyzer’ technology may allow diabetics to skip finger pricks: Blood glucose testing for diabetics may eventually be less painful. “A new handheld ‘breathalyzer’ device developed by researchers at Western New England University may someday allow diabetics to monitor their blood-glucose levels.” Currently, in order for diabetics to measure their blood sugar, they need to prick their finger with a needle up to several times a day. The new tool works by measuring acetone in breath, which is linearly related to blood glucose levels. Researchers are hoping to have patients test a handheld model in late 2014 or early 2015. (Fox News)