Biomarkers can help track mood disorders

February 26th, 2008 - 12:25 pm ICT by admin  

New York, Feb 26 (IANS) In a breakthrough, researchers have isolated a panel of biomarkers that will change the way bipolar depression and other mood disorders are diagnosed and treated. The concentration of these biomarkers in the blood is proportional to the severity of depression or mania in an individual.

Indiana University researchers isolated blood biomarkers in 96 patients. They are now planning a larger study of these mood markers for other psychiatric diseases.

Although psychiatrists have been aware that these and other psychiatric disorders produced molecular changes in the brain, there was no way to measure them while the patient was living, said Helen Le-Niculescu of Indiana University Institute of Psychiatric Research.

This gives psychiatrists an objective tool to assess the effectiveness of a medication on individual patients, without the typical lengthy waiting period, Le-Niculescu said.

She described it as “a major step towards bringing psychiatry on par with other medical specialities that have diagnostic tools to measure diseased states and the effectiveness of treatments”.

The study is being published in the online edition of Molecular Psychiatry.

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