Blood test for depression may be possible
Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria have demonstrated that it may one day be possible to determine from a blood test if a person suffers from depression.
Serotonin transporter (SERT) is a protein that helps transport serotonin, a neurotransmitter known as the “happiness hormone” into the cell. In the brain, this regulates neural depression networks, and a lack of serotonin has been linked to depression. SERT works in a similar way in blood, ensuring that the right amount of serotonin is in plasma.
For the study, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and studying certain drugs to demonstrate that there is a close relationship between the speed of serotonin uptake in blood platelets and the function of a depression network in the brain.
Researchers say this shows that a blood test to detect depression is possible for diagnosing depression and could be available in the near future.