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Blood Test Targets Psychosis Risk

Blood Test Targets Psychosis Risk

Researchers have developed a blood test that predicts if a person with risk factors for psychosis will go on to develop psychosis.

Investigators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill believe the discovery is an important step forward in the accurate diagnosis of people who are experiencing the earliest stages of psychosis.

Psychosis includes hallucinations or delusions that define the development of severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia emerges in late adolescence and early adulthood and affects about one in every 100 people. In severe cases, the impact on a young person can be a life compromised, and the burden on family members can be almost as severe.

The study has been published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.

“The blood test included a selection of 15 measures of immune and hormonal system imbalances as well as evidence of oxidative stress,” said Diana O. Perkins, M.D., M.P.H.

“While further research is required before this blood test could be clinically available, these results provide evidence regarding the fundamental nature of schizophrenia, and point towards novel pathways that could be targets for preventative interventions,” Perkins said.

The research was conducted as part of an international effort to understand risk factors and mechanisms for development of psychotic disorders.

“Modern, computer-based methods can readily discover seemingly clear patterns from nonsensical data,” said Clark D. Jeffries, Ph.D., a bioinformatics scientist and co-author of the study. “Added to that, scientific results from studies of complex disorders like schizophrenia can be confounded by many hidden dependencies.

“Thus, stringent testing is necessary to build a useful classifier. We did that.”

Researchers believe the multiplex blood assay, if independently replicated and if integrated with studies of other classes of biomarkers, has the potential to be of high value in the clinical setting.

Source: University of North Carolina Health Care

 

Blood samples for testing photo by shutterstock.

Blood Test Targets Psychosis Risk

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Blood Test Targets Psychosis Risk. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 18, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2014/09/23/blood-test-targets-psychosis-risk/75246.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.