If 25% of people will experience a depressive episode in their lifetime, we should probably have a fool-proof method for diagnosis and treatment, right? According to a recent MedicalXpress article, the former is already in work. A team of researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine have developed a blood test that can determine the severity of a patient’s depression and their risk of developing severe depression or bipolar disorder in the future.
The test is composed of RNA biomarkers, and builds on previous research by the same team that focused on blood biomarkers that track suicidality, pain, PTSD, and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to assessing future risks, the test also informs custom medication options to best treat each patient. During their research, the team also found that mood disorders are linked to circadian clock genes that regulate seasonal, day-night, and sleep-wake cycles.