Early Detection of Depression All Through the Blood

As with any disease, early detection is key to wiping it out and keeping the person as healthy as possible, for as long as possible; depression is no different. Early diagnosis is vital to the reduction of suffering and for finding a rapid and effective course of care to help. Now, according to a recent study conducted by Eva Redei at Northwestern’s School of Medicine, it may be possible to actually test for depression in the blood, and properly diagnose the illness far faster than ever before. The testing is hypothesized to be so good that it can even help physicians to find out just what the patient will benefit most from in terms of behavior-based therapy as a treatment.


Blood testing is being marked as the wave of the future for depression diagnoses, due to the 26 markers within the blood that have been linked to depression in other forms of testing.

In the report on the testings by Redei, which was recently published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, there were nine specific markers that were focused on because of their levels in the blood that differed between those who were diagnosed with depression and those who were not depressed at all. It was found that those diagnosed as being depressed, that also engaged in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), had certain patterns that presented themselves when their blood levels and markers were reviewed.

Physicians were able to easily identify specific patterns that told them just which patients would positively respond to CBT and who wouldn’t. Roughly 60 percent of the patients in the testing did not experience another depressive episode after receiving CBT over a five month period. However, there were the other 40 percent that did show signs and differences in three gene products measured in the blood.

Researchers were also able to find three markers among the original nine that remained different even among those patients that showed signs of positive healing from the CBT. This could mean that these signs may just well be predisposing factors that make depression much more of a likelihood for those with stress or trauma in their lives before testing. The other six markers that were examined showed signs of fluctuation throughout the testing, which may be a helping hand for doctors as a way for them to help diagnose and implement treatments for those with depression.

So, thanks to these innovative forms of testing, looking at the changing markers of those diagnosed with depression can help to better set a plan of action, medication and treatment for those with depression.  



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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Kelsey Graeter

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