Ray of hope? Blood test looks to identify disorder in people suffering with mental health issues

WION Web Team
London Published: Nov 29, 2021, 02:13 PM(IST)

The blood test can help in identifying disorder among people, who have mood disorders (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

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A blood test, which uses RNA markers, seems to be offering help in identifying the issue among people, who have mood disorders, such as depression. It could be a breakthrough in the diagnosis of mental health conditions. In April, a team of the Indiana University School of Medicine in the US launched the blood test

In what can be called a ray of hope, a blood test, which uses RNA markers, seems to be offering help in identifying the issue among people, who have mood disorders, such as depression. It could be a breakthrough in the diagnosis of mental health conditions.  

In April, a team of the Indiana University School of Medicine in the US launched the blood test. It seems to have claimed it to be psychiatry’s first-ever biological answer to diagnose a mood disorder.  

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Dr Alexander Niculescu, a psychiatrist and geneticist, who led the research, said, “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.”    

“This avoids years of trials and error, hospitalisations and side-effects,” added Niculescu.

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

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To develop the test, Niculescu’s team drew on its 15 years of 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.   

The blood tests, which have been developed by Dr Niculescu and his team, are now available as CLIA tests for physicians to order, through a company set up by Niculescu and others in the field.   

(With inputs from agencies) 

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