- A new blood test that could help doctors prescribe the right anti-depressants for patients with depression
- Test designed by researchers at Kings College London
- Markers of mental illness were determined by the blood test
Mental health is a serious health condition that affects a considerable number of people worldwide. This condition affects the way the individual behaves, thinks and speaks and affects the ability to carry out a task.
- Mental health affects people as early as 15 years of age with one in every 5 individual affected.
- 1 in 20 people may be affected with a serious mental illness like schizophrenia.
- The growth and behavior characteristics of teenagers sometime hide issues associated with mental illness.
- According to WHO statistics for 2008, neuropsychiatric diseases contributed 11.8% to the global burden of disease.
- As age advances, there is an increased risk for mental illness characterized by dementia and memory loss.
‘A diagnostic blood test has been designed to identify patients with severe mental illness.’
AdvertisementMoreover, doctors prescribe anti-depressants based on certain signs and symptoms which are relatively ambiguous, leading to a trial and error method of drug prescription. A new study conducted by researchers Maffioletti E and colleagues from the Institute of Psychiatry at the King's College London has identified a simple blood test that could determine if an individual requires anti-depressants.
Mental health illnesses like severe mental disorder (MD) and bipolar disorder (BD) are illnesses that require anti-depressants. MicroRNAs or miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that post transcriptionally regulate the synthesis of protein by binding with target RNA.
The researchers studied the presence of these miRNAs in the blood of individuals with severe mental disorder and bipolar disorder. For the study, 20 individuals with MD, 20 individuals with BD and 20 healthy controls were recruited.
The study found that among MD patients the following 5 miRNAs were altered,
Significance Of The Study
- The miRNAs were dysregulated in mood disorders, opening the doorway to a better understanding of such neurological conditions.
- The development of a blood test to detect severe mental disorder will remove ambiguity in care provided.
- Monitoring mental illness will become easier
- The study shows that mental health illness is not only psychiatric but the effects include changes to the whole body.
- Peripheral whole blood
microRNA alterations in major depression and bipolar
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