May 25, 2011

New Blood Test Diagnoses Depression

Japanese scientists have developed a new blood test to diagnose depression.

Researchers at Keio University in Tokyo have devised a test which indicates depression levels by measuring the concentration of phosphoric acid in the blood.

According to the study, the new test could help improve early detection rates of depression if performed during regular medical checks

The connection between phosphoric acid levels and depression was confirmed in an earlier study involving 66 people, 31 of whom were diagnosed with depression.

The study showed patients with depression had a lower concentration of what is known as ethanolamine phosphate, with researchers subsequently able to diagnose depressed patients on this basis with an 82 percent success rate.

Earlier blood tests for diagnosing depression that have previously been under development involve significantly more time-consuming DNA analysis of white blood cells.

Dr Yoshiaki Ohashi, a board director and chief security officer at HMT, told the Telegraph: "The findings will make it easier for an objective, biological diagnosis of depressive patients. We believe that the use of such a test will make it possible to diagnose patients efficiently at the primary care stage."

The company hopes to make the depression blood test available to doctors within the next two years.


On the Net: