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Researchers develop blood test for depression, bipolar disorder

Alexander B. Nicresk, MD, PhD.Credit: IU School of Medicine

Around the world, one in four people will suffer a depression episode in their lifetime.

While current diagnostic and therapeutic approaches are primarily trial and error, groundbreaking research by researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine sheds new light on the biological basis of mood disorders and provides promising ones. blood A test aimed at a precision medicine approach to treatment.

Alexander B, a professor of psychiatry at IU School of Medicine. Niculescu, MD, Ph.D. The study, led by, was published today in an influential journal. Molecular psychiatry .. This study is based on a previous study by Niculescu and his colleagues on blood biomarkers that track suicidal tendencies and pain.Post-traumatic stress disorder And Alzheimer’s disease.

“We have pioneered the field of precision medicine in psychiatry for the past 20 years, especially the last 10 years. This research represents the current state-of-the-art results of our efforts,” said Niculescu. Stated. “This is part of our efforts to bring psychiatry to the 19th and 21st centuries, to help it become like other modern disciplines such as oncology. Ultimately, The mission is to save and improve lives. “

The team’s work will cover the development of a blood test consisting of RNA biomarkers. This allows you to distinguish between the severity of depression in a patient, the risk of developing severe depression in the future, and the risk of future bipolar disorder (manic depression). .. This test also informs you of the choice of medication that is tailored to your patient.

This comprehensive study was conducted over a four-year period and more than 300 participants were recruited primarily from a patient population at the Richard L. Rudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis. The team used a careful four-step approach to discovery, prioritization, validation, and testing.

First, participants were followed over time, and researchers observed participants in both high and low mood conditions. Each time, we recorded changes in the biological markers (biomarkers) in the blood between the two states.

The Niculescu team then used a large database developed from all previous research in the field to cross-validate and prioritize the findings. From here, the researchers examined the top 26 candidate biomarkers in an independent cohort of people with clinically severe depression or mania. Finally, biomarkers were tested in an additional independent cohort to determine who was ill and how strong they were in predicting who would get sick in the future.

From this approach, researchers have been able to show how to match patients with drugs, even finding new potential drugs to treat depression.

“Through this work, we wanted to develop a blood test for depression and Bipolar disorder“In order to distinguish between the two and adapt people to the right treatment, blood biomarkers are an important tool for disability by individual subjective self-reporting or the clinical impression of a healthcare professional,” said Niculesque. These blood tests open the door to accurate, personalized matching with drugs, and objective monitoring of response to treatment. I can.”

Niculescu’s team has found circadian clock genes (seasonal, day and night, and) in addition to the diagnostic and therapeutic advances found in the latest research. Sleep-wake cycle..

“It explains why some patients get worse. Seasonal changes, And the changes in sleep caused by mood disorders, “said Nicresk.

According to Niculescu, the work done by his team has reflected their findings in clinical practice, opening the door to supporting new drug development. Focusing on collaboration with pharmaceutical companies and other doctors, Niculescu aims to begin applying some of the tools and discoveries to real-world scenarios, where the team’s work is in the lives of countless patients. We believe it is essential to improve quality.

“Blood biomarkers offer the benefits of real-world clinical practice. Living individuals cannot easily biopsy their brains, so we have worked hard to identify them over the years. It’s done. Blood biomarker Regarding neuropsychiatric disorders, “Given the fact that one in four people develops episodes of clinical mood disorders in their lifetime, the need and importance of efforts like ours cannot be exaggerated.”


The team opens a breakthrough for the development of a pain blood test


For more information:
H. Le-Niculescu et al, Precision Medicine for Mood Disorders: Objective Assessment, Risk Prediction, Pharmacological Genomics, and Reused Drugs, Molecular psychiatry (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41380-021-01061-w

Quote: Researchers have obtained depression and bipolar disorder (2021, April) from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-04-blood-depression-bipolar-disorder.html on April 8, 2021. 8th) Develop a blood test

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