Now blood tests can help diagnose mental illnesses

Conventionally in physical diseases like infection, the doctor prescribes blood tests for the diagnosis of the disease and provides a guide for prescribing the right treatment. however, for mental illness diagnosis and treatment can be a far more complex process.

Published in Science Advances, a new study involving almost a million people found that several mental health disorders — including certain depressive and eating disorders — were linked to biomarkers that can be easily detected in routine bloodwork. Given that clinicians largely rely on subjective self-reports to diagnose most mental health disorders, the finding could revolutionalize mental healthcare in more ways than one.

To understand the role of these blood biomarkers in mental health conditions like major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, anorexia, OCD, ADHD, autism, and Tourette’s syndrome, the team looked at the genetic influences of these biomarkers on both mental illness and substances measured in blood.

The lead author William Reay said, “We found evidence some substances measured in the blood may be involved in the cause of some mental illnesses further work is now needed to identify how these blood measures are precisely involved in these disorders and to find out if they can be targeted for treatment”

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