Can a Blood Test Diagnose Depression?

According to a study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston researchers analyzed nine biomarkers that could distinguish patients who had a major depressive disorder from those that did not.  The pilot study accurately identified depression in 90 percent of previously diagnosed depressed patients.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 U.S. adults is affected by depression.  The stigma associated with depression often prevents individuals from seeking treatment.  If a blood test is available in diagnosing depression, it may help in taking away the shame and help more people with depression receive treatment.  It may also help in choosing the best treatment approach.

According to the opinion of some medical professionals, a blood test may become a factor in helping to identify people with depression yet a blood test alone should not be the only tool used in identifying depression.  The patient’s depressive symptoms should continue to be used in helping to diagnose depression.  Disease, including depression, is complex so it can not be determined only by a simple blood test.  Although further research is necessary, the conclusion of the study, published in the Molecular Psychiatry Journal, is that a blood test can detect depression.

Below are a few links for more information related to the study.

Study of the Day: Blood Tests Can Accurately Diagnose Depression

Blood Test May Help Diagnose Depression

Diagnosing Depression: MedlinePlus Health News Video