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New study reports that depression can be found through blood test

By Syra Sharif     May 1, 2014 in Health
Many people can go through depression in their lifetime, though a new test can find whether it has the ability to affect one’s daily life. How? Through the blood.
A study out of the Medical University of Vienna reports that it may be possible to find whether a person has depression through a blood test.
Tests for mental illnesses were previously seen as impossible, until this study was conducted. Most of the time, those who suffer from depression or related disorders have a lack of serotonin. The serotonin transporter (SERT) is a protein in the cell membrane which facilitates the transport of the neurotransmitter serotonin, more commonly known as the happiness hormone. When this occurs in the brain, the SERT manages a network of natural depression. When a lack of serotonin is present, depressive conditions can result.
The study notes that researchers have used functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and pharmacological investigations. The connection finds that the speed of the serotonin uptake in blood platelets and the function of depression networks in the brain are closely related.
As the Guardian Liberty Voice points out, that since “serotonin transmitters in the blood work and are exactly like those found in the brain the study has opened up future diagnostic possibilities.” The study also noted that this ensures that, "in the blood, the platelets maintain the appropriate concentration of serotonin in the blood plasma."
The study was carried out by Christian Scharinger and Ulrich Rabl, under the supervision of Lukas Pezawas at the Department of Biological Psychiatry, University Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the MedUni Vienna, working with groups from the special research division SFB-35 and others at the MedUni Vienna. Other collaboration work came from international partners, including the Technical University of Dresden and Central Institute for Mental Health Mannheim.
Study leader Lukas Pezawas from the Department of Biological Psychiatry at the University Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy within the MedUni Vienna said: “While blood tests for mental illnesses have until recently been regarded as impossible, this study clearly shows that a blood test is possible in principle for diagnosing depression and could become reality in the not too distant future.”
More about Depression, Blood test, Mental illness, Serotonin, Medical study
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