Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Blood Test To Determine Depression

What Did The Research Involve

Blood test could detect depression

This research featured two broad stages of study. In the first the researchers used blood samples from both rats and humans to identify specific genetic markers that could distinguish those with MDD from those without. The second involved looking at whether these markers could also differentiate people who had MDD and anxiety disorder from those with MDD only.

The study authors first took blood samples from rats bred to exhibit symptoms of MDD and analysed the genetic material they contained. During this analysis they tried to identify genetic markers that differed between animals with MDD and those without, and which might, therefore, be associated with the condition. The researchers put forward the theory that these markers may also be useful in humans, as rats and humans share many genetic similarities.

During these rat studies the researchers found 26 candidate genetic markers. They then tested for various combinations of them in human blood to see whether they could be used to distinguish between people with MDD and those without. To do so, blood samples were taken from a small group of 14 people with MDD. These were compared with blood samples from a group of 14 similarly-aged people without the disorder. Both groups were a mix of males and females aged between 15 and 19 years old.

Diagnosing Depression And The Physical Exam

Again, the goal with a physical exam is usually to rule out another medical cause for depression. When performing the physical exam, the doctor may focus primarily on the neurological and endocrine systems. The doctor will try to identify any major health concerns that may be contributing to symptoms of clinical depression. For example, hypothyroidism — caused by an underactive thyroid gland — is the most common medical condition associated with depressive symptoms. Other endocrine disorders associated with depression include hyperthyroidism — caused by an overactive thyroid — and Cushing’s disease — a disorder of the adrenal gland.

Many central nervous system illnesses and injuries can also lead to depression. For example, depression might be associated with any of the following conditions:

  • Central nervous system tumors

Corticosteroid medications such as prednisone, which people take for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or asthma, are also associated with depression. Other drugs, including illegal steroids, excessive alcohol use,Ã and amphetamines and over-the-counter appetite suppressants, may cause depression on withdrawal.Ã

What Were The Basic Results

When comparing the genetic expression of people with MDD with those without, the researchers say that medium to large differences were found in 11 of the 26 genetic markers identified. Medium-to-large differences were not explicitly defined in this study, but are likely to mean those genetic markers showing the greatest difference in expression in people with MDD compared with those without.

A set of 18 of the 26 genetic markers reportedly showed medium-to-large differences between those with MDD only and those with MDD with anxiety disorders.

Read Also: Why Does Anxiety Cause Depression

Blood Test Offers New Hope To People With Depression

The test would avoid the years of trial and error that currently characterise diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions.

A blood test using RNA markers is offering new hope to people with mood disorders such as depression in what could be a significant breakthrough in the diagnosis of mental health conditions.

A team from the USs Indiana University School of Medicine launched the blood test in April, claiming it to be psychiatrys first-ever biological answer to diagnosing a mood disorder.

Our study shows that it is possible to have a blood test for depression and bipolar disorder, that have clinical utility, can distinguish between the two, and match people to the right medications, said psychiatrist and geneticist Dr Alexander Niculescu, who led the research.

This avoids years of trials and error, hospitalisations, and side-effects. As these are very common disorders, we think we can do a lot of good with this and other tests and apps we have developed.

The study delved into the biological basis of mood disorders, developing a tool to distinguish which type of mood disorder a person has depression or bipolar disorder.

To develop the test, Dr Niculescus team drew on its 15 years of previous research into how psychiatry relates to blood gene expression biomarkers measurable indicators of a biological state in the form of RNA, DNA, proteins or other molecules.

Conversely, an immune activation or inflammation would affect the brain.

About Iu School Of Medicine

Depression Blood Test

The Indiana University School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the U.S. and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability.

Don’t Miss: What To Say To A Depressed Teenager

How Is The Specimen Collected For Antidepressants Blood Test

Following is the specimen collection process for Antidepressants Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood

Process of obtaining blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate sharp container for safe and hygienic disposal

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

Diagnosis Of Bipolar Disorder

In the United States, doctors do not diagnose bipolar disorder formally. You can define this disorder by distinctive symptoms. These are may be difficult to identify in certain situations. After the following conditions, psychologist-or-psychiatrist generally make a diagnosis of bipolar disorder:

  • You must have previously had a manic episode.
  • A history of depressive symptoms appears in a persons medical records.
  • Individuals with bipolar disorder frequently or throughout most of their life experience manic symptoms, according to current or past evidence.

Because detecting bipolar disorder takes many versions, the diagnosis process may take years. This is because a manic episode is defined as a period of abnormally elevated mood or euphoria. This interferes with an individuals functioning and social life, it is difficult to diagnose someone who has only had one. Even if a person fulfills all of the criteria for bipolar disorder, he or she must be examined by a mental health professional. This is to receive an accurate diagnosis.

You May Like: How To Fill Depressions In Asphalt Driveway

How Did The Researchers Interpret The Results

The researchers concluded that they had discovered a panel of 11 genetic markers from human blood samples that could successfully distinguish subjects with early-onset MDD from those without. Similarly, they say that a set of 18 genetic markers identified youths with MDD only from those with MDD with anxiety disorders.

As the function of many of the genetic markers used in the panel was known, the researchers were able to suggest various biological mechanisms by which the genetic differences may be linked to MDD, both with and without anxiety disorder.

Scientists Develop New Blood Test That Could Diagnose Your Level Of Depression

New Blood Test Could Diagnose Depression

A newly developed system that monitors for blood biomarkers linked to mood disorders could lead to new ways to diagnose and treat depression and bipolar disorder, all beginning with a simple blood test.

While depression has been recognized for centuries and affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, the traditional diagnosis still depends on clinical assessments by doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists.

Blood tests might inform such health assessments, to check whether symptoms of depression might be related to other factors, but they’re not used in clinical practice to objectively and independently diagnose the condition itself. The new research suggests this could be a practical option in the future.

In the new study, researchers have identified 26 biomarkers measurable and naturally occurring indicators in patients’ blood variably linked to the incidence of mood disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, and mania.

Dr. Alexander B. Niculescu.

“Blood biomarkers are emerging as important tools in disorders where subjective self-report by an individual, or a clinical impression of a health care professional, are not always reliable,” says psychiatrist and neuroscientist Alexander B. Niculescu from Indiana University.

“These blood tests can open the door to precise, personalized matching with medications, and objective monitoring of response to treatment.”

“Ultimately, the mission is to save and improve lives.”

You May Like: Residential Treatment Programs For Teenage Depression

More Study Details: Depression Blood Testing At Northwestern University

There were a total of 32 participants in the study, ranging from 21 to 79 years of age. These patients had been clinically diagnosed as having depression. In addition to the 32 depressed patients, there were 32 non-depressed individuals that acted as the control group. All of the non-depressed individuals were in the same age range of 21 to 79 year olds.

All of the individuals were simultaneously involved in a study that compared the efficacy of two types of CBT: telephone-based vs. face-to-face. Prior to receiving the therapy, Northwestern researchers were able to pinpoint 9 RNA blood markers that were significantly different among the depressed and non-depressed participants. These specific markers were found to successfully determine which patients were depressed, and which werent.

Following 18-weeks of the two variations of CBT, researchers noted that some patients experienced changes in RNA blood marker levels. The changes in blood levels correlated with improvements in depressive symptoms. Those that got no relief from therapy didnt experience any changes in their RNA blood marker levels.

If Gene Tests Arent Effective What Is

In the meantime, there are many good and effective actions to take if treatment is not working well. You and your doctor can

  • review your symptoms and diagnosis
  • review side effects of other medications you take to see if this is part of the problem
  • double-check that you are taking the medications correctly
  • consider other factors that might affect your response to treatment, such as alcohol, marijuana use, or other substances
  • change the doses or types of medications based on guideline recommendations, or seek a consultation with an expert.

When a medication change is needed, the clinician treating you should follow available guidelines or help you obtain a consult from a mental health professional who is more knowledgeable about psychiatric medications. Psychiatry consultations are available at most hospitals and clinics some hospitals offer these consults by phone or through their websites.

You May Like: Shows To Watch When Depressed

Blood Test For Depression: How The Process Works

Its not very difficult to determine how doctors take a blood sample. It may be a little more confusing to understand how a sample can be used to determine whether you really have major depression. Essentially lab workers will analyze the blood sample and check for specific RNA markers that signal depression or non-depression. RNA works based on programming from our DNA. Whatever our DNA is signaling, our RNA carries out this is expressed in our physiology.

  • Blood sample is taken: You would obviously need to get blood drawn from your arm and a sample would be collected.
  • Blood sample analyzed: The sample would then be analyzed to determine whether it has specific RNA markers that would represent depression.
  • RNA Markers: Researchers are able to identify specific RNA markers in a persons blood stream in those with depression vs. those without. Those who have depression tend to have significant differences in RNA markers when compared with healthy individuals.
  • Results: The results from the blood sample would then indicate to a lab worker whether you are depressed, not depressed, and whether you have a predisposition to developing depression.
  • Depression: If you have depression, it would be evident based on your sample.
  • No depression: If you are healthy and dont have depression, your RNA would be significantly different than someone who is depressed.
  • Where Did The Story Come From

    Can Depression Be Detected Through A Simple Blood Test?

    The study was carried out by US researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago, and was funded by grants from the Research Institute of the Nationwide Childrens Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

    The study was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Translational Psychiatry.

    The media coverage of the study was balanced, but the significant limitations of the study, such as its small size, were not emphasised.

    Don’t Miss: Non Antidepressants Used For Depression

    What Is The Significance Of The Antidepressants Blood Test Result

    The significance of the Antidepressants Blood Test result is explained:

    • A high test value may indicate antidepressant toxicity, which is marked by:
    • Fatigue
    • Abnormal breathing
  • A low test value may indicate more antidepressant is necessary to achieve a therapeutic dose
  • The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a “stand-alone” test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

    A Blood Test For Depression

    See Article by Bilello et al and Rejoinder by Papakostas.

    This work may not be copied, distributed, displayed, published, reproduced, transmitted, modified, posted, sold, licensed, or used for commercial purposes. By downloading this file, you are agreeing to the publishers Terms & Conditions.

    A Blood Test for Depression?

    Anthony J. Rothschild, MD

    In the early 1980s after publication of Dr Bernard Carrolls seminal paper standardizing the dexamethasone suppression test for melancholia ,1 the popular media ran headlines proclaiming that a blood test had been discovered for depression. Approximately 6 years later, the clinical utility of the DST in everyday practice was determined to be limited.2 The excitement over a simple blood test to diagnose depression launched the research careers of many young psychiatrists, including this author. In this issue of the Journal, Bilello and colleagues3 report on a panel consisting of 9 biomarkers associated with the neurotrophic, metabolic, inflammatory, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis pathways that, along with gender and body mass index data, was able to identify people with major depressive disorder with an accuracy of over 90%. The theoretical basis for this commercial test is that the 9 biomarkers in the panel are associated with alterations in key pathways associated with unipolar depression.4-10

    Funding/support: None reported.

    REFERENCES

    12. Ridge Diagnostics. . Accessed September 10, 2014.

    Don’t Miss: Medicine For Adhd And Depression

    Depression Tests Of The Future

    While they are not yet in common use by most health care providers, in the realm of psychological research there is much interest in the potential of biomarkers to help diagnose depression and other psychiatric conditions.

    There are many factors that determine whether someone develops depression in their lifetime, including genetics and environment.

    Research also continues to show how the brain and the body are inextricably connected the health of one influences the health of the other.

    Some studies have been looking for a potential connection between levels of inflammation in the body and depression. Others are investigating how the gut microbiome might influence mental health.

    A study published in 2013 explored the possibility of a connection between elevated cortisol levels in young adults and depression. In 2015, a study at UC San Diego proposed changes in a specific gene linked to the X chromosome may contribute to mental illness in women.

    One day, we may be able to screen a persons genetic information, measure the levels of inflammatory markers in their blood, and look for changes in the structure of their brain to determine their risk for depression, diagnose the condition, and find the most effective treatmentbut were not there yet.

    For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

    Blood Test For Depression In Adults: How It Works Research Availability

    Blood tests for depression

    Many illnesses can be diagnosed by simply going to the doctor and getting a blood test. Based on the latest research, adults could soon be getting a blood test to determine whether they have depression. This blood test would effectively assess the severity of depression, how well a person would respond to certain medications, and whether they are likely to get any benefit out of therapy sessions.

    Current diagnoses for depression involve a series of questions and self-reports. It is usually difficult to judge the accuracy of these self-reports for the doctor. Additionally it leaves room for diagnostic misinterpretations from the doctor and over or under-reporting of depressive symptoms from the patient.

    Although diagnosing depression is considered somewhat accurate, much of the process is based on subjective interpretations of symptoms. Should an actual blood test get approval to diagnose depression, a doctor wouldnt have to worry as much about correct interpretation of symptomatology.

    You May Like: Why Is Adderall Prescribed For Depression

    Sunny Comfortable Weekend Ahead Of 80

    Dr. Weinstein said its not mental health professionals, but primary care doctors who prescribe the majority of antidepressants.

    “Primary care settings are really seen as like our first line of defense for suicide prevention. And so a tool like this, a routine, easy blood test, can really aid in that prevention strategy,” Dr. Weinstein said.

    The recently published study of less than 100 people found the biomarker can also track to what extent specific drug therapies, including antidepressants, are effective in individual patients.

    This is a small study, so we still have to have some reservation, but the statistics are very powerful on this small sample size suggesting there that we really do have a viable biomarker, both for depression and for antidepressant response, Rasenick said.

    Professor Rasenick and University of Illinois Chicago are working now to expand the study and hold the clinical trials needed for FDA approval. Rasenick believes this could be the way depression is diagnosed in the future.

    “If we can help get them into treatment, then we can certainly save both a lot of lives, and a lot of misery,” Rasenick said.

    This article tagged under:

    Popular Articles
    Related news