Detect Depression Through Blood Test
Blood tests had become a tool to help physicians diagnose disease and its treatment. Previously it was even known that blood test can predict risks of Alzheimer’s disease. Now blood tests also helps psychiatrist find mental health disorders and to make choices in treatment.
Dutch scientists examined the variation in the gene (DNA) to examine healthy individuals and patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). From the result, researchers can identify the difference in a set of seven whole blood genes of depressed patients with healthy controls.
“This finding is the first of its kind, but it is a major step to provide a molecular diagnostic tool for depression,” explained Dr Sabine Spijker, author of the study.
Although psychiatry has criteria for diagnosing mental health disorders, some bias and the diagnosis will be very difficult in those who are reluctant to communicate. The existence of a blood test to see mental health problems also helps reduce the stigma that exists.
“It is too early to be sure that gene expression would lead us to diagnose or prognostic for depression. However, the purpose of this study is very important,” says Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry as reported by WorldWideHealth.
He added that gene expression can be used to detect and help physicians diagnose sensitivity or selecting treatments for mental disorders.
The authors hope that this study is a stepping stone to find markers that could predict treatment outcome and recurrence of disease.