Saturday, July 13, 2024

Is There A Blood Test For Depression

What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline

Theres A Blood Test That Can Diagnose Depression!

SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

Also visit the online treatment locator.

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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.

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Test Indicates Vulnerability To Depression

The blood concentration of three of the nine RNA markers remained different in depressed patients and non-depressed controls, even if the depressed patients achieved remission from depression after the therapy. This appears to indicate a vulnerability to depression.

These three markers move us towards the ultimate goal of identifying predisposition to depression, even in the absence of a current depressive episode, said Redei, also the David Lawrence Stein Research Professor of Psychiatric Diseases Affecting Children and Adolescents.

Being aware of people who are more susceptible to recurring depression allows us to monitor them more closely, Mohr noted. They can consider a maintenance dose of antidepressants or continued psychotherapy to diminish the severity of a future episode or prolong the intervals between episodes.

Next Redei plans to test the results in a larger population. She also wants to see if the test can differentiate between major depression and bipolar depression.

Redeis and Mohrs research represents a pillar of Northwesterns Strategic Plan by discovering new ways to treat disease in the biomedical sciences.

The paper is titled Blood transcriptomic biomarkers in adult primary care patients with major depressive disorder undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy.

Northwestern coauthors include Brian M. Andrus, Mary J. Kwasny, Junhee Seok, Xuan Cai, and Joyce Ho.

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Why Selecting The Best Medication Is Important

There are so many antidepressants and psychiatric medication options. It can be overwhelming. Choosing the wrong one can lead to a host of unpleasant side effects and sometimes even the original problem remains unsolved. Traditionally, medications are prescribed and a variety of side effects lead to people becoming frustrated and giving up. Genetic testing for psychiatric medication helps you avoid all these problems. Genetic testing for antidepressant response can help make it a bit easier. ClarityX provides DNA testing for antidepressants in order to help individuals and their physicians decide which medications are best for them. Recent scientific advancements have made it possible for those in need to make an informed choice about antidepressants and psychiatric medications

Can A Blood Test Diagnose Your Depression

Can Depression Be Detected With a Blood Test?

Researchers are closing in on a host of helpful blood tests. Heres the latest developments.

When youre running a fever and feeling bad, your doctor will request lab tests to help determine whats making you ill. A simple blood test can pinpoint the diagnosis and help your doctor prescribe the best treatment. But symptoms of mental illness are far more complex to diagnose and treat so researchers are working to develop clinical tests diagnose depression and determine the best treatment.

If you struggle with depression or know someone who does, this news is huge. Seeking treatment and help is the first step towards recovery one that those suffering with depression symptoms often find difficult because their condition has left them tired, disinterested or feeling defeated. Knowing that a doctor or clinic can run blood tests to help kick-start recovery is a game changer.

But is it here now? Researchers have found some promising results:

Doctors routinely use blood tests to rule out medical conditions that may cause symptoms of depression or even contribute to depression, such as anemia, thyroid disease or a vitamin D deficiency. They also use series of questions or a questionnaire to screen for depression, along with a detailed medical history and a discussion of your mood and how it impacts your daily life.

Wondering if you are at risk for depression? Take Dominion Hospitals confidential and free online Depression Risk Assessment.

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What Is Genetic Testing

This new and exciting way of using genetic testing for depression meds is changing how drugs are prescribed. Working in tandem with your doctors you can take this test and narrow down which medications would work best for you. Before this testing the standard way to pick a drug was through trial and error, now with a simple test, you can narrow your potential medications down to a much smaller number.

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

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How Else Can Lab Tests Help

Lab tests are very effective at ruling out or uncovering other health conditions, like detecting specific nutritional deficiencies that may cause depression.

Its important to explore all the possibilities when diagnosing depression and other mental and physical health conditions. Many other conditions can mimic depression, and some can even cause depression as a symptom or side effect.

Your doctor may perform a blood test to determine if a physical condition is at play. This will help them home in on what youre experiencing and help you determine the right course of treatment for your symptoms.

Common physical conditions with similar symptoms as depression include:

  • thyroid disorders

About Iu School Of Medicine

Depression Blood Test – There is a Blood Test to Diagnose MDD

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.

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Can A Blood Test Diagnose Depression

Currently, theres no blood test for diagnosing depression.

That may change, though, as researchers learn more about the way this condition might leave biological clues for diagnosticians.

Clinicians typically reach a depression diagnosis by comparing symptoms against the criteria described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition .

Blood tests are rarely used and when they are, its to rule out other health conditions that may explain what youre experiencing.

Unipolar Versus Bipolar Depression

Depression is an area where diagnosis is a challenge negatively impacting treatment. While there are many different types of depression, a major distinction is between unipolar depression and bipolar depression. As study authors Salvetat and colleagues note in their Translational Psychiatry paper on using RNA blood markers, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder is often significantly delayedpeople with bipolar often are first diagnosed with major depression , in up to 21% of patients.

This happens for several reasons: first, the primary symptoms of depression overlap completely for unipolar and bipolar second, because unless someone has had a clear manic episode , the elevated mood and behavioral changes with less severe symptoms may not be identified on history-taking because either they are more subtle, or did not appear problematic because they were part of a phase of feeling happy.

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Blood Tests For Treatment

Blood tests are used for more than diagnosis they can also be used for purposes of treatment.

The RNA screening test referenced above also can be used in the identification of patients who will respond best to behavioral therapy. In several of the nine markers, levels varied between those who saw benefits from therapy and those who did not, providing an indication of who would be a good candidate for therapy versus medication. While many patients require a combination of both to see lasting progress, the role therapy plays may be able to be better evaluated among children and adults in the future. This may be a particular benefit for parents who are hesitant to start children or teens on medicine without evidence that it would be absolutely necessary.

Is There A Blood Test For Depression

Blood Test Can Help Personalize Depression Treatments

There’s a relief that comes with an absolute diagnosis. It gives a person validation that what he or she is experiencing is real. Unfortunately, not all conditions come with such clear-cut answers. Depression is one of those illnesses. Not only are its symptoms highly variable for instance, some depressed people sleep or eat more while others sleep or eat less but the primary method used to diagnose it is a questionnaire.

It would all be so much easier if depression showed up on a blood test. More people who suffer from the condition would be able to get proper treatment for it. There would be a host of other benefits of an objective diagnosis, with many patients likely finding the condition more accepted by loved ones, co-workers and even disability insurers.

Because of these issues, medical scientists have been looking for more concrete ways to diagnose depression. One area of study has been PET scans, which measure activity in different parts of the brain. These scans have allowed researchers to identify depression in the brain and also evaluate if antidepressants are working effectively on a particular patient. Of course, research into depression diagnosis through PET scans is still ongoing. And, even if successful, scans wouldn’t offer the most practical, safe and cost-effective way to test for disease. Which brings us back to blood tests.

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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.

How Clarityx Uses Genetic Testing

ClarityX is a direct-to-consumer pharmacogenetics test. We offer genetic testing for antidepressant response, DNA testing for depression medication, and much more. This can help your primary care provider to ensure you are receiving the most accurate and helpful information when it comes to your medication. This test can be done from the comfort of your home.

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What Can A Blood Test Detect

Blood testing as a basis for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder or depression is still in its early stages. But there has been promising research in the past few years.

Recent studies have explored the role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor . This molecule has a big impact on learning and memory. Its expression, however, is complex. Scientists have found links between mood disorders and the levels of proBDNF and mBDNF in the blood.

A 2017 study of 105 participants found levels of mBDNF in the blood of people with bipolar disorder was lower than in those with MDD. Further, the ratio between mBDNF and proBDNF in the bipolar disorder group was also lower than in those with MDD.

The researchers noted this was a promising development, as people with bipolar disorder are often misdiagnosed with MDD. A blood test therefore could help identify those with bipolar disorder experiencing depressive episodes.

A 2021 study of a new assay test showed its possible to diagnose low blood mBDNF levels in people with MDD or bipolar disorder within an accuracy rate of 80 to 83 percent.

Lab Tests You Need If You Are Feeling Depressed

Gravitas: ‘Blood Tests’ can confirm depression claims new study

Read this before taking antidepressants or if you are already taking them.

Have you seen your doctor with a list of symptoms, some perhaps vague, that include fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, sleep issues, lack of libido and been told something like:

There is nothing wrong with you you are just depressed.

This is often determined without a thorough exam or in-depth labs to rule out various conditions. Before accepting what may just be a default diagnosis, we recommend patients get a thorough workup by starting with some very basic tests usually covered by most insurance plans.

This is not to say Depression is not a very real experience for many people, just that there may be more to it than an inherently broken brain which we are often led to believe. Below is a short list of must do tests when evaluating for this common condition:

1)Vitamin D

It is deemed the Sunshine Vitamin for a reason because it functions as more of a pro-hormone and pro-neurotransmitter than just a typical vitamin. Adequate levels are necessary for regulating dozens of processes in the body including upregulating serotonin, testosterone, and insulin receptors and assimilation of several other nutrients. We test almost every patient for Vitamin D and most are deficient.

Optimal number is between 55 and 85.

2)A Full Thyroid Panel- TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Thyroid Antibodies anti TG/ TPO

3) Highly sensitive CRP


5) Vitamin B12/ folate

8) Ferritin levels

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If The Diagnosis Is Depression

Depression is treatable. Consequently, a depression diagnosis can start you on the road to a healthier life without feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.

Once your doctor makes a depression diagnosis, you need to follow the treatment program to get better. It’s important to take the medications as prescribed. You also need to follow through on making lifestyle changes and working with a psychotherapist if that’s what your doctor recommends. Millions of people with depression suffer needlessly because they don’t get professional help that starts with a doctor’s diagnosis.

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Can Depression Be Detected With A Blood Test

When you’re ill, your doctor may run a battery of tests to help figure out what’s causing you to feel unwell. In the case of common infections, a simple blood test can make the diagnosis and guide your doctor in prescribing the right treatment.

When you have symptoms of mental illness, however, diagnosis and treatment can be a far more complex process. Promising research is being done, but we don’t yet have a simple blood test that can diagnose depression.

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How The Study Worked

The study included 32 patients, ages 21 to 79, who had been independently diagnosed as depressed in a clinical interview, and 32 non-depressed controls in the same age range. Some of the patients had been on long-term antidepressants but were still depressed. The patients, from Northwestern general internal medicine clinics, also were participating in a previously reported study comparing the effectiveness of face-to-face and telephone-administered cognitive behavioral therapy.

At baseline before the therapy, Northwestern scientists found nine RNA blood markers with levels significantly different in the depressed patients from those of controls. These markers were able to diagnose depression.

After 18 weeks of therapy , the changed levels of certain markers could differentiate patients who had responded positively and were no longer depressed from patients who remained depressed. This is the first biological indicator of the success of cognitive behavioral therapy, the study authors said.

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