Blood Test to Diagnose Major Depression in Teens Promising

A panel of transcriptomic markers in blood distinguishes teenagers who have major depressive disorder (MDD) from those who do not have the disorder, new research shows.

Further, another panel of partially overlapping blood biomarkers differentiated teens who had MDD together with anxiety disorder from those who only had MDD.

“This is the first step toward having a clinical diagnostic test for early-onset major depression,” study investigator Eva E. Redei, PhD, from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, told Medscape Medical News.

“Should larger studies confirm and extend our findings, it could also lead to development of different individualized treatment strategies,” she added.

“Despite considerable efforts, there are still no valid, reliable and feasible peripheral/blood biomarkers that can diagnose MDD, classify MDD subtypes and measure treatment response, even in adult-onset MDD. Our research is unique in the attempt to discover a biomarker panel for early-onset MDD, a more severe disorder than adult onset,” the researchers note in their report.

by Megan Brooks

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