First Blood Test to Diagnose Depression in Adults

The first blood test to diagnose major depression in adults has been developed by Northwestern Medicine scientists, a breakthrough approach that provides the first objective, scientific diagnosis for depression. The test identifies depression by measuring the levels of nine RNA blood markers. RNA molecules are the messengers that interpret the DNA genetic code and carry out its instructions.

The blood test also predicts who will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy based on the behavior of some of the markers. This will provide the opportunity for more effective, individualized therapy for people with depression.

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Funding: The study was supported by grants R21 MH077234 and R01 MH059708 from the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health and by grants from the Davee Foundation.