I recently posted a blog on ‘Clinical Studies using MRI for Psychiatry Research‘. Another exciting area of work at our research site is centered around the diagnosis of depression. We are exploring the development a blood test for depression based on proteins in the blood.
Currently, doctors diagnose depression by asking questions about feelings of sadness or guilt, loss of interest in activities, appetite, sleep, energy level, and concentration. This approach is subjective and does nothing to help patients recognize that there is a biological basis to their illness.
We are currently working with a biotechnology company to show that their blood test is effective for diagnosing depression. The test measures levels of proteins related to inflammation, stress hormones, and metabolism to come up with a score that indicates whether a person is depressed. We are currently testing the assay in people who are experiencing depression as well as matched healthy volunteers to show a difference between the two groups and to see if the scores correspond to scores on standard depression scales that are commonly used in clinical trials. Our preliminary findings from the first 50 depressed and 50 healthy participants look very promising.
If you are interested in learning more and possibly participating in this study, please click here.
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