Blood test could determine bipolar disorder and depression, research shows

KNX 1070 News Radio
KNX 1070 News Radio

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. (KNX) — For decades, detecting and correctly diagnosing depression or bipolar disorder has been a complicated body of work, but a new blood test has the potential to change all of that.

Dr. Alexander Niculescu is the research lead on the tests. The professor of psychiatry at the Indiana School of Medicine said the tests are the first-ever biological tests for diagnosing mood disorders and can help prescribe patients the right medications.

“Conceptually it's very similar to what's being used in diabetes,” Niculescu said. “It’s more complex than that. It can also match patients to medications and, if repeated overtime, it can see if you’re responding well to treatment or not.”

Niculescu said his team’s research doesn’t diagnose, but it does give doctors a way to use genetic markers to be able to see whether somebody is suffering from depression or bipolar disorder, which would be treated with very different medications.

“We just provide information to the doctors,” he said. “And then, in the context of them knowing the patient, using their clinical judgement and so on they use that information as they see fit.”

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