Researcher: Blood test for early-onset depression promising
April 17th, 2012
02:44 PM ET

Researcher: Blood test for early-onset depression promising

How does a parent know if their child or teen is experiencing normal adolescent sadness or moodiness or - a more serious form of depression? The answer may one day lie in a simple blood test, if the results of a new early study are confirmed in larger populations.

The results are published in Translational Psychiatry.

Early-onset major depressive disorder is a mental illness that affects people under 25. While about 2 to 4% of cases are diagnosed before adolescence, the numbers skyrocket to 10-25% with adolescence, explains lead researcher Eva Redei, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Why it matters

“Not diagnosed, depression affects how teens relate to others.  The No. 1 cause of death among the depressed is suicide,” explains Redei. “If teens are depressed and not treated, there can be drug abuse, dropping out of school.  Their whole lives can depend on these crucial and vulnerable years.”  Depression typically continues into adulthood, says Redei,  so catching it early allows for proper treatment.

The research

Redei’s research team discovered eleven blood biomarkers for early-onset major depression.  Their original work used rats, and they confirmed their results in this small study of humans that included 14 teens with major depressive disorder, and 14 teens without depression.  The researchers discovered that they could distinguish between major depression with anxiety and without anxiety, based upon the genetic markers.

“Having an objective test that tells a physician there is a physical, genetic explanation for depression”  allows them to treat patients with a precise diagnosis, Redei explains.  "Knowing there is an objective reason for their child’s feelings can allow parents and children to understand that depression is an illness, it’s a complicated illness, that is very common, and can be treated.”

What's next?

She hopes that having a science-based diagnosis will eliminate some of the stigma associated with mental illness. After more testing, these findings hopefully “may help psychiatrists to predict which treatments will be efficient, based on the biomarkers."

"It won’t be in the clinic this year, but assuming the resources are available, then it is going to happen.”

soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Fiona

    As someone who has lived with depression for half a century, I object to the statement that "their whole lives depend on those crucial and vulnerable years" - referring to the period of adolescence. That makes it sound like there are no second chances, that there is no hope for someone who struggled socially in their teens, or who used drugs or alcohol to excess to cope, or who considred suicide. That simply is not true. And blaming attachment or social issues solely on a mood disorder is gross generalization. In my case, I had an abusive parent who was a substance abuser (and, I believe, suffered from a mood disorder). There was a lot more going on to wreck those "crucial and vulnerable years" for me than the bouts of depression I experienced.

    I have news for Redei: far from dropping out of school and delving into drugs, clinically depressed, shy, antisocial, teenaged me was admitted to one of the two top universities in the country, graduated with an excellent GPA, went on to graduate school, never abused drugs or alcohol, never committed a crime. I learned to live with my limitations. I'm not sure slapping a diagnosis on a young teen and prescribing medication (many of which make the patient fat and cause acne, btw) is going to help that much long-term.

    April 17, 2012 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • momoya

      Excellent reply, Fiona!. I share in most of those experiences and completely agree!. People with depression have an added difficulty, but to succeed we must overcome that difficulty with other social tools that non-depressed people may not be compelled to search for as we must.

      April 17, 2012 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      I disagree. Early diagnosis is key to treating mood disorders. The longer it goes without diagnosis, the harder it is to treat. I developed depression as early as my freshman year of high school. It got worse and worse until I got to college and couldn't bring myself to leave my dorm room, which ultimately lead to my removal from school.

      Since then, I haven't been able to work. This means I wasn't able to pay off my student loans. Because of this, I no longer qualify for financial aid. Even when I recover (and after a couple dozen different medications, I'm finally getting there) I don't see how I'm ever going to be able to return to school. If I had been diagnosed earlier, all this might be different.

      April 17, 2012 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      Fiona, Very true. I too suffered from depression as a teen, but it was more the emotional abuse and sexual abuse that affected me. Not to dimish depression as I have had it for many years, but certainly other factors contributed to my drug use. Like you though, I worked hard and things have worked out for me, but certainly some issues stay with me.

      April 17, 2012 at 17:51 | Report abuse |
    • JP

      I believe Fiona misquoted the article. They said "Their whole lives CAN depend on these crucial and vulnerable years.” Obviously, people with depression can go both ways. It’s the spiraling out of control depression we are worried about.

      April 17, 2012 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
    • John

      I disagree. Knowing that I had a disorder would have made a positive difference in my life. Major depression and anxiety in my teen years kept me from developing in many ways. I have been able to maintain an acceptable level of functionality and success, but emotionally missing my formative years has left me a few cards short of a full deck.

      April 17, 2012 at 20:06 | Report abuse |
    • BD

      i, personally, disagree. as someone who literally woke up one day when i was 16 with a depression that has never lifted (it was as if a switch was flipped in my brain...i had dealt with panic disorder for three years prior), i firmly believe my life would be completely different had I the proper and aggressive treatment in my teens/early twenties.

      if you are left to deal with depression//anxiety/etc without appropriate or helpful treatment, you learn habits, you learn to respond to fears, etc, in a certain way. and while these may be coping skills for the time being, in the end, they can become learned things that hinder your life and it takes a long time to unlearn these things.

      for those who suffer from a biological based depression (and not just situational - not taking anything away from a situational depression), it is crucial to get help early and be aggressive about it. otherwise, you are left feeling more deflated, more hopeless, more jaded at a mental health system if it fails you.

      April 17, 2012 at 23:45 | Report abuse |
    • Kevininvancouver

      Toot your own horn much?

      April 18, 2012 at 00:26 | Report abuse |
    • Robyn

      I certainly appreciate this post. Good for you. Your post has helped some of us not "panic" about our teenagers.

      April 18, 2012 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Fiona, you are the lucky one out of a million. I applaud your perseverence and success in meeting your challenges. My daughter's depression and anxiety spiraled into a situation where she couldn't finish high school although she had been in AP and Honors classes with straight A's – and some reasonable self esteem before this all transpired. The psychiatric community has no means of diagnosis outside of symptoms reflected by behavior. I am encouraged to think that there can be some biological detection and would encourage further research to be funded by the pharmaceutical industry and our federal government. Just think of the millions of dollars that would be saved in our school system alone with having better functioning children. Not a stretch to go in this direction. I would love to see statistics on the cost of depression to children and parents of children with depression.

      April 18, 2012 at 01:51 | Report abuse |
    • Patty

      "I disagree. Knowing that I had a disorder would have made a positive difference in my life. Major depression and anxiety in my teen years kept me from developing in many ways. I have been able to maintain an acceptable level of functionality and success, but emotionally missing my formative years has left me a few cards short of a full deck." – I couldn't agree more. Same here.

      April 18, 2012 at 03:17 | Report abuse |
    • Samantha

      Interesting point. I'd like to see some stats on how many people diagnosed with major deppressive disorder or mood disorders go on to live a general high functioning life (meaning they don't go on to commit criminal acts, drug abuse, sexual abuse, lose their jobs, ect.) vs. who does go onto to live a more dysfunctional life (I can hear durkheim rolling in his grave). Despite being bipolar I've gone onto live a generally normal life with a lot bumps along the way but it's possible to get through them, you just got to fight like hell.

      April 18, 2012 at 09:34 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Pretty much my story right there, Fiona. A lot of horrible things happened in my childhood, but you don't see me sulking about it. The past is the past; remember and learn from it, but don't let it effect your life, cuz a whole world if smiles is waiting out there for me.

      April 18, 2012 at 13:07 | Report abuse |
    • Dx and Tx are important

      I have to agree with the idea that an accurate diagnosis and treatment of moderate to severe mood disorder is a priority. I have a severe mood disorder and I am still very successful. I would not use my diagnosis as a crutch and it was my discipline and committment to success that pulled me through my very dark years. However, if I had been properly diagnosed as a child (when it started), my childhood could have been so much better. After all, high academic achievement with an abysmal social life due to depression and anxiety are simply no fun. I never had friends because of that. Quality of life matters and I wish my childhood could have seen a few rays of sunshine instead of the constant overcast I experienced. I get sunshine now, thanks to proper diagnosis and treatment. An actual mood disorder is very different from situational depression. The longer it goes untreated, the more difficult it is to treat.

      April 18, 2012 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
    • dofacc

      I had significant depression as a teen. I spent a whole lot of my life battling suicide. In retrospect, if I could have spent that time and energy pursuing something other than not killing myself, I would be in a far different place than I am now. Don't get me wrong, I am a good place. I am successful, and reasonably content, but, I could have had much, much more if I would not of had to battle every day all day, just to stay alive.

      April 18, 2012 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
  2. Rob_in_MN

    Seriously? They don't peddle enough of their poison already, they want to make sure EVERYONE is confirmed depressed so they can increase the profits even more?

    Very depressing indeed.

    April 17, 2012 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Derek

      Actually, I could see this lessening the amount of medication prescribed. People without these indicators would only be treated with therapy, whereas now we throw antidepressants at anything that even hints at the disorder.

      April 17, 2012 at 17:43 | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      Without these "poisen[s]" I would be dead. Why don't you take conspiratorial, un-medical, idiotic view of pharmaceuticals and shove it you know where.

      April 17, 2012 at 23:09 | Report abuse |
    • PallasAthene

      I'm betting Rob is a Scientologist. The exact same words were on one of their sites today. I ended up on it through a link from a friend I KNOW is a Scientologist. I shook my head when I clicked on it, but Ievery now and then like checking on what the anti-psychology crazies spew forth. It's often quite humorous.

      April 18, 2012 at 00:30 | Report abuse |
    • Riska

      Find some Psalms that speak to your heart. The Word is alive, and powerful, able to diesrcn the thoughts and intents on the heart. Read the Bible and when you see an I am make it real for you too. If you have a proper perspective of what Christ purchased for you, your mind will be flooded with good things, you will be more that a conqueror, an overcomer.Sins allure is pleasure- pleasure is the enemy of joy.

      September 14, 2012 at 01:23 | Report abuse |
  3. Nat

    As someone who was finally diagnosed with depression at 17, I really hope this will become mainstream. People tell you to just 'get over it', that it's just hormones, that it's not the end of the world. Logically, someone with depression knows it but is mentally unable to overcome the obstacles they know are there without help. And asking for help when everyone trivializes your emotions is crippling.

    April 17, 2012 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mel

      Nat – I was diagnosed at 17 and I live with depression everyday. Whenever someone tells me to "snap out of it" or just "be happy" I ask them if they'd tell a paralyzed person to just stand up or a blind person to get over it and just see. Just because my illness can't be seen doesn;t mean it doesn't exist. Thanks for your post!

      April 17, 2012 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
    • RoyalCorrespondent

      I reached out for help when I wasn't much younger than you, but I was diagnosed with growing pains instead. Eight years later, I tried to commit suicide and finally landed a diagnosis at 26. Good for you for advocating for yourself and getting treated fairly early on – I wish I'd had the strength to do the same thing.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:03 | Report abuse |
  4. lana

    Good that things worked out so well for you, Fiona, it doesn't always happen that way for others. The article doesn't say "every" kid will drop out or do drugs - but that it "may" lead to this outcome.

    And I'd rather take rx for depression and be fat and have acne than feel suicidal daily. Many kids really really do need medication to deal with their very real physiological depression - whatever the cause - I believe a lot of it is genetic but certainly it is impacted or maybe kindled or trigglered by dysfunctional familly or situational factors. If a child is having serious life issues at a young age that look likely related to depression or anxiety, and there is no other logical explanation for what is causing their pain, then it could be clinical depression that needs to be addressed before it gets worse or before the child becomes hopeless or so self defeated that they turn to whatever way out they can find - drugs, alcohol, bad relationships, no relationships... even severly depressed people can be high functioning in academics and seemingly happy, where as inside they are crippled and alone.... just because some people survive their demons early in life, doesn't mean all will or should - if there is relief, why not offer it to the poor children who suffer depression passed on through genetics or for whatever the reason they have a mood illness.

    April 17, 2012 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Teri

      No doubt it's genetic. My kids' father's side of the family has had 6 suicides in two generations. Over half have been diagnosed with some form of mental illness – from depression to bipolar. It scares me to think what may be around the corner for my kids. I'm really at a loss, too – how much is just general pre-teen and teen drama and hormones and what is something far more severe?

      April 18, 2012 at 02:48 | Report abuse |
    • bad judgement

      Teri, why did you choose your husband to father your kids? My father's side of the family is riddled with illness and guess what? I have it too. I used to imagine my father's testes rotting and falling off or me as a fetus dying in the womb of my mother when I was suffering horribly for several years before I finally found meds that work a little bit. I choose not to have kids because it is SELFISH to knowingly pass on such awful traits. My mother got a call after I was found one day, having tried to kill myself. You may get such a call from your kids some day. It was your choice. Now you and your KIDS have to live with it.

      April 18, 2012 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
  5. Mystery

    It was always a mystery to me why a good number of males entered a schizophrenia stage at ages 15 to 25 yrs. of age.
    If it can be foreseen through any method, their chances of avoiding the confusion and stigma would indeed
    give them a chance in a better quality of life.

    April 17, 2012 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Nealb4

    It is so easy to make comments looking in from the outside. Indeed I have raised two children both now adults. Each and every case is different and common sense must be used not simply the diagnostician. On the other hand having been clinically depressed as a child and too told "just get over it" I RESENT anyone stating their case unless they have gone through the agony and pain of this miserable disorder.

    Yes, it affects those around us ... can you only imagine the constant unending noise that goes thorough our heads? Please have some respect.

    April 17, 2012 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. joeyhookemeasey

    how about exercise? a good diet. watch the movie prozac nation. i guess we are all depressed!

    April 17, 2012 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. John G

    I am not against trying to do this, but it oversimplifies depression as a biological disease, and while sometimes this is true, in other cases it is not. There is considerable research that shows there are multiple subtypes of depression, some with a much higher genetic loading than others. The risk is in the domain of the "false negative/false positive" classification of the diagnosis of depression. That is, if the blood test is "negative" that may mean that the person does not have a primarily biologically detectable subtype of depression, but they may have another type that is also dangerous but then the test taker and/or parents are reassured when they should not be. Mental illness cannot be boiled down to a single causative factor most of the time. That is a limitation of the biomedical model that does not consider the importance of psycho-social effects on mental illness.

    April 17, 2012 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RJNM1980

    Perfect com
    ment !

    April 17, 2012 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. tess2602

    Clinical depression is a medical condition and should be regarded as such. I was depressed in adolesence and told to "snap out of it." I promised myself I would be vigilant when my own children entered adolesence, knowing that mood disorders can be hereditary–it wasn't enough. My son committed suicide at age 17. He had had a sleep disorder that doctors failed to link to depression. A blood test could have made all the difference.

    April 17, 2012 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RoyalCorrespondent

      Tess, I'm so sorry about your son. I hope you're not blaming yourself – it sounds like you did everything you could. I've sworn to be similarly vigilant if I ever have kids, but as you say, a blood test for these genetic markers could be invaluable.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:11 | Report abuse |
  11. Nancy

    Does anyone actually pay attention to what they are reading? The blood tests show "markers" for depression. It just means an association, not an exact method only a hypothesis. Until now there is no actual "test" that can detect the levels of chemicals in the brain. There are "markers" such as cortisol levels which help identify POSSIBLE depression. But these test should be coupled with therapy. (which insurance won't cover as readily as drugs) To me this just sounds like another excuse to drug up our children.

    April 17, 2012 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ron

    Typical mental health nonsense. Here they go with trying to identify genetic markers for major Depression when they should be looking into the causes of depression. Prozac and similar drugs help with depression about 30% of the time, if and when they find the right one or combination. Treat the causes of depression and help the person change course and the problem is resolved almost every time. I have had numerous aquaintenances that suicided and with every last one some of their final comments were that in seeking the help they knew they needed it was always refused. Most of which were relatively minor problems such as unemployment or social isolation. They also almost unamonously started thee happy pills didn't work.

    Bottom line is that they can do all the research they want regarding how to identify any illness. But it is all completely meaningless if they fail to treat it. For lack of mental health treatment after Reagan administration closed hospitals, we sure have been filling the prisons with former patients.

    For Tess above, I am very sorry for a preventable loss of your son. Identifying would have done no good though. Mentioning you dealt with depression yourself, think. I am sure it had causes. Not only could you have had happier teen years, but your entire life could be so much happier now. It is not a matter of telling anyone to snap out of it, but rather helping them to find solutions to all the problems. And it is all so easy to do, it people really care. With mental health providers don't. They want to keep people ill to keep their jobs safe. Among those that I have known with depression, the best outcomes were with those that quit asking for help they never received and confronted their own demons head on.

    April 17, 2012 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • coffeegrounded

      You cannot know the disease if you are fortunate enough to be void of it.

      April 17, 2012 at 21:18 | Report abuse |
    • JeramieH

      Strangely enough, you must identify the problem before you can solve it.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
    • markers and cause

      Ron, proving that there IS disease is the first step in addressing an appropriate intervention. Also, it was Thomas Edison who once said that he had failed to invent a better lightbulb [after spending years in south Florida trying] but he had managed to invent an excellent procedure for vulcanizing rubber. While looking for causes and cures, sometimes we make other worthwhile discoveries that help lots of other people. Stop dissing the discovery of good markers and accept this advance for what it is: an aid for correct diagnosis.

      April 18, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
  13. Bert

    d e P r e s S i O N S u C K s

    April 17, 2012 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wafaa

      she didn't want to talk when I offered to ltsein. We still don't. She's a bit better now with medication but I still don't know what to say when she's at her worst, what can you say?

      September 11, 2012 at 18:53 | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      God has a wonderful spiuitral organization and all of them love one another and are united in worship and peace. The very best way I have found to overcome depression is to surround myself with them and associate with them on a regular basis, to keep busy in teaching and preaching about God's kingdom government that will restore the earth to it's original paradise-like conditions and drawing close to God by reading and meditating on the Bible as God's letter to all of us which is full of spiuitral treasures.

      September 13, 2012 at 23:56 | Report abuse |
  14. Miguel Rosado

    I was to the point of suicide because the depression, lack of energy, inability to get a full night sleep was unbearable. I googled my symptoms and figured out that I had Celiac disease (most probable cause of my Lactose intolerance). I started a Gluten free diet and my problems are gone and I am feeling great since them.

    April 17, 2012 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maya

      Celiac disease and lactose intolerance are caused by completely different things. You sound like a hypochondriac.

      April 18, 2012 at 22:18 | Report abuse |
  15. MedicalStuff

    There is a growing body of evidence that mindfulness practices can have a significant reduction in depression (many studies have come up in recent years – check Medline).
    People also need to remember that antidepressants do not work (see: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jun/23/epidemic-mental-illness-why/?page=1).

    April 17, 2012 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pacman357

      Nice to see Tom Cruise stop by. Hey, Tom...happy 50th (a couple months early).

      April 17, 2012 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
  16. PhilG.

    How about a doctor spending more then two and a half minutes diagnosing a health problem you have.

    April 17, 2012 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. pacman357

    Another way to check would be to ask–honestly, not in denial–"did I beat the shiat out of my child for several years?" If you answer yes, then there is your answer. Thanks, parents.

    April 17, 2012 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. MedicalStuff

    Adding to my previous post, there is also evidence that meditation practices can change gene expression. See:

    April 17, 2012 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. chris

    except there would be sooo many false positives when ever a liberal fool was tested.

    April 17, 2012 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. chris

    what will they test for? laziness gene?

    April 17, 2012 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. chris

    come november all the OBama sheeple will be testing positive as their messiah gets the boot.

    April 17, 2012 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Rogue351

    Ask Tom Cruise and he will say depression is not real. Ask Ted Nuget and he will say going out and killing a defenseless animal is therapy that cures all. What do these two have in common. They are both Republicans. The real illness in America today is not something that can be found in blood. No matter how much the Republicans look for it by starting wars for profit. Or packing around concealed firearms and killing innocent kids in hoodies.

    The Republican Party will be the down fall of the greatest nation on earth !!!

    April 17, 2012 at 23:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Elizabeth

    Every blood test should test for lack of B-12. Right away, you will know if a person is depressed and paranoid. Girls are more affected because they lose blood every month. Many people cannot absorb B-12 through food, because their intestines do not have the "intrinsic factor," which also should be tested for.
    The "normal" level for elderly is not normal, even for elderly; give elderly B-12 shots and watch Alzheimer's disappear.

    April 18, 2012 at 00:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • B12 facts

      B12 is involved in folate turnover, not depression and/or paranoia. B12 deficiency affects all organ systems including the brain but has very characteristic symptoms that principly involve symmetric numbness in the hands and feet that progresses upwards over time. Untreated B12 deficiency is fatal but takes years. People with symmetric, advancing numbness should get tested for a B12 deficiency but that will probably not be included in a simple depression screen.

      April 18, 2012 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
  24. PhilG

    Depression has many causes but severe depression that does not go away usually is caused by a imbalance of chemicals in the brain that it uses to function.

    You cannot tough this type of depression out.

    To try may cause you to kill yourself.

    There is nothing wrong with saying,"My depression just won't go away,it is very bad and getting worse,I need help" and going to a hospital and seeing a doctor and getting some form of medication to blunt your depression.

    Medication is not perfect.

    It will NOT cure your depression.

    However,medication may help you find a way out of the hole your body has dropped your mind into.

    Get some help.

    Depression tells you your life means nothing but to everyone around you,even if they don't seem to say so,you are important -you need to stay alive.

    If you are in deep depression-do not wait.

    Call a doctor,see a preacher talk to someone-get some help.

    Get help and save your own life.

    Be proud of yourself that you care enough to find help save your own life.

    The rest comes one day at a time.

    April 18, 2012 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      The inbalance that is due to my now addiction to depression meds will certainly cause an imbalance of chemicals.

      April 18, 2012 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • Peyman

      Hi Heron,In the month or so I have been frequenting R S I have aepapcirted you way of sharing. I suspect that many who regularly frequent this forum live with depression. I suspect that excessive computer use can be a hindrance to recovery I share that from personal experience. I can sit down at the computer for 15 minutes, and get up 4 hours later. During that time I consider myself connected' but I fear that it is more of a disconnection. As to a spiritual practice simplification.- Exercise (as a number of people have mentioned) This can be a brisk walk of 45 minutes of so.- Nutrition avoid anything processed. You don't have to get fancy PB J, fruit, etc- Disconnect from media. I suspect this will be a challange for you, but it could be a powerful piece. Make a decision to turn it all off for a week.- BREATH focus on your breath. Breath in for a four count, and out for a 6 (or count. Do this whenever you think about it, sitting, walking, reading, everything. In a post from yesterday I shared a Buddist meditation ( your question about trying buddhism for a week) It is by Thich Nhat Hanh in his book the miricle of mindfulness.Love and Light

      September 11, 2012 at 22:45 | Report abuse |


    April 18, 2012 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply

    Frustrated that the tests were not named specifically.
    However, should such "markers" show some promise they may also prove to be a curse. What if they were employed as a screening requirement for some activity like a job or an insurance policy?

    April 18, 2012 at 00:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kerry

      Recommend you get the actual clinical paper...

      April 18, 2012 at 06:08 | Report abuse |
  27. liz

    This is amazing! excellent news.

    April 18, 2012 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Shazaam

    I think the fact that you don't understand what "false positive" means kinda proves his point.

    April 18, 2012 at 01:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Patty

    John, I completely agree. Same story here.

    April 18, 2012 at 03:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Dave

    We can put an end to adult developed depression, The doctors are right, it is of major importance to detect depression in children early, that way they will never develop it later, they can develop it now!

    Genetics are a valuable tool to determine this, children can find out now if when they are an adult they will have health issues, unattractiveness and can even determine income which all relates to depression.

    April 18, 2012 at 05:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Grey

    having to take a blood test depresses me.

    April 18, 2012 at 07:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Willow

    So what about those who don't really have it, but get false positives with these tests? They will forever have a stigma attached to them with the insurance companies when they have to check the "were you ever treated for mental illness" box.

    April 18, 2012 at 07:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • stigma, yes; forever, no

      Willow, there is no "were you ever treated for mentall illness box" on insurance forms. The closest I've ever seen is "were you treated for major depression within the past year" and that was for disability insurance. I don't tell anyone about my illness and when it comes to my general practioner, I choose to lie so I am not treated differently. That is a risk since I could potentially be prescribed medications that ineract with those I take for my psychiatric illness. I choose to take that chance so I can be treated fairly. I also accept the consequences arising from that decision.

      April 18, 2012 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
  33. Marlee

    Early intervention with nondrug treatment sounds good to me. I am skeptical about the liberal use of antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs esp. among kids. Some of the drugs are no more effective or less than placebo. They may be highly dangerous and unpredictable. These drugs can also create a slew of physical and mental problems that the patient must then manage. These drugs have their use, but it is for a tiny fraction, not the masses!

    April 18, 2012 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedicalStuff

      I agree. Also, “imbalance of chemicals” made above is not a valid argument. In terms of "mechanisms of action" of antidepressants, absolutely nothing has been put forward. Mechanisms that have been suggested for the use of antidepressants have been compared to arguments like fevers being caused by too little aspirin!

      April 18, 2012 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
  34. Steve

    Smells like blood test profiling.

    April 18, 2012 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scott

      Yes, this only seems likely to cause more stigma for those who test positive. Once the results are in, the person will be eclipsed by the disease.

      April 18, 2012 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
    • Ravi

      There is still debate as to whetehr depresion and anxiety are genetic or learned behaviors. If depression were just a chemical imbalance there would be no need for therapy, which is how many psychiatric patients are treated. They only time many really see a pscyhchiatrist is for a medication report.The chicken or the egg refers to what came first. Did a chemical imbalance cause the depresion and/or anxiety, or was it a traumatic event(s) that caused the chemical imbalance?

      September 11, 2012 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
  35. Lyn

    Right there with you Steve and Scott. I also wonder how many of these posts are pharmas pretending to be individuals clamoring for....more drugs to save the world. I am on meds and have been for 20yrs. Delay the merry go round for as long as absolutely possible. It may or may not help, but there is no getting off.

    April 18, 2012 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Larry

    After seeing friends injured by unneeded anti-depressants this is worrisome. How do we know this isn't just another
    marketing gimmick? AD meds are highly addictive, once hooked these kids will show symptoms any time someone
    tries to take them off the meds. This will be used as evidence that they really need them.

    April 18, 2012 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
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    April 21, 2012 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. anonymousliz

    No thank you! This sounds like a nightmare, and would likely be used by big pharma to encourage more frightened parents to place their vulnerable teens on ineffective medication. I was depressed for a long time, and medication did nothing to help. DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY, however, has been most effective. I won't be surprised when a blood test is developed to diagnose kids with NO symptoms, and I bet the drug companies and doctors will put children on medication on a preventative basis. When the medicine makes the kids ill, they will have their "proof" that they were right in the first place.

    April 23, 2012 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
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    May 3, 2012 at 19:02 | Report abuse | Reply
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