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Could A Blood Test Diagnose Depression in Teenagers?

Today the Metro has boldly claimed that a “blood test diagnoses depressed teenagers”, while the Daily Mail says that a new blood test “is first to diagnose depression in teenagers”. 1

NHS Choices‘  An online site run by the National Health Service in the UK has today published an article stating that this has been claimed by both the Daily Mail and the Metro. (Clicking on either of those links should take you directly to the relevant articles)

Currently, as stated by the NHS CHoices doctors diagnose depression by using validated methods going on to say that,

“A doctor will question how a person is feeling and ask about their general health and wellbeing, rather than using a blood test.”

but that a small study undertaken by researchers  at Northwestern University in Chicago, USA…

“tested blood samples from people with and without MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) and found 11 genetic markers that differed between the two, indicating that those genetic markers were potentially linked to the condition.”

It should be noted that the article also pointed out that…

“only limited conclusions can be drawn from this study as it was very small, looking at just 28 teenagers in total. Much larger studies are, therefore, needed to prove that these differences can be detected in more people of different ages.”

Further information concerning this can be found at the following links.

NHS Choices article
Daily Mail Article
Metro Article

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