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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blood Test: Predicting Mental Illness

Yesterday, it was reported by multiple different news and psychology sources(I used that a study was published, that researchers have now been able to diagnose major depression in teens. The study was conducted not only to help predict and treat teens with depression, but also to make a distinction between depression and different subtypes of depression like major depressive d/o with anxiety. As reported, by "Right now depression is treated with a blunt instrument," said Eva Redei, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead investigator of the study, published in Translational Psychiatry. It's like treating type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes exactly the same way. We need to do better for these kids." The article went on to explain how the study was conducted saying that "[Redei] discovered 11 [of the genetic] of the markers were able to differentiate between depressed and non-depressed adolescents...these 11 genes are probably the tip of the iceberg because depression is a complex illness, but it's an entree into a much bigger phenomenon that has to be explored. It clearly indicates we can diagnose from blood and create a blood diagnosis test for depression." 

Science and research are kicking proverbial butt right now!!! Which made me do my own research, so are we researching other mental illnesses that could be predicted by a blood test? You got that right!

In 2008, Dr. Alexander Niculescu at Indiana University School of Medicene conducted a study that have concluded that there are 10 genes that can be detected that were able to asses a patient for Bipolar Disorder. He said "Having an objective for disease state, disease severity, and especially to measure response to treatment, would be a big step forward." The article went on to say that Dr. Niculescu is working on other genetic markers to test anxiety, stress and hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia.*

In January 2011, reported on an article called, Blood Test to Diagnose Schizophrenia, Other Brain Disorders On The Horizon, that said "Psynova-Neurotech and Rules Based Medicene(RBM) have developed VeriPsych, the first blood test for the disorder. To produce a sensitive and specific assay, scientists obtained blood samples from a large sample of both schizophrenic patients and healthy controls. Out of the 181 candidate bio-markers tested, 51 presented blood serum concentrations that were significantly correlated with the schizophrenia diagnosis. Using these 51 proteins as bio-markers, the VeriPsych test has an accuracy of 83%, which is remarkably close to the accuracy of the psychiatric interview."

I was just beat up real bad by science and research, but I enjoyed the smackdown! This should really give a lot more firepower for researchers at institutions who do research and that have problems getting funding at universities.

That was fun right?
Happy Thursday!


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