11 February 2014

New Blood Test for Schizophrenia

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Currently the diagnosis of most mental illnesses is based on conversations and questionnaires. These could now be supported by a new low-cost blood test developed within the European research project SchizDX.

This test evaluates the presence of certain proteins in blood samples of patients. Sabine Bahn from the University of Cambridge says that the new test is able to diagnose schizophrenia with a certainty of 83% and depression with a certainty of about 90%. Although the test could never stand on its own, it provides doctors with valuable backup information.

Also patients are likely to profit from the new test, because now their illness is no longer an abstract condition that is restricted to something that happens in the mind. The abnormality in the blood will help patients psychologically to deal with their psychiatric disorder as with any other illness. 

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