We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
LGC Clinical Diagnostics

Download Mobile App

Simple Blood Test Diagnoses Bipolar Disorder More Accurately

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 26 Oct 2023
Print article
Image: The blood test offers a new way of improving diagnosis of bipolar disorder (Photo courtesy of 123RF)
Image: The blood test offers a new way of improving diagnosis of bipolar disorder (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Bipolar disorder is a condition that affects about 1% of the global population, which translates to roughly 80 million people. However, nearly 40% of those affected are incorrectly diagnosed with major depressive disorder, a condition that requires a different treatment approach. Incorrectly treating bipolar disorder with antidepressants without the use of mood stabilizers can induce a manic episode. Currently, a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation is the most reliable method for diagnosing bipolar disorder, but these assessments often have long waiting times and are time-consuming. Now, a simple blood test with the ability to diagnose bipolar disorder could ensure that patients receive the right treatment the first time and also reduce the strain on healthcare providers.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK) have created a novel diagnostic approach that employs a simple blood test to identify biomarkers linked to bipolar disorder. By combining an online psychiatric evaluation with the blood test, the team managed to correctly diagnose several patients who were previously misdiagnosed with major depressive disorder. On its own, the blood test could accurately diagnose bipolar disorder in up to 30% of patients. However, its efficacy improved notably when used alongside a digital mental health assessment. The inclusion of biomarker tests could assist doctors in distinguishing between major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, conditions that exhibit similar symptoms but necessitate different drug treatments.

For their research, the team relied on samples and information gathered from the Delta study, which took place in the UK from 2018 to 2020. The study aimed to identify bipolar disorder among patients who had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder in the last five years and were currently experiencing depressive symptoms. The participants, who numbered over 3000, were enlisted online and completed an extensive online mental health questionnaire containing over 600 questions. Topics covered by the questionnaire included past and present depressive episodes, generalized anxiety, symptoms of mania, family history, and substance abuse. Out of those, around 1000 participants were chosen to provide a dried blood sample through a finger prick. The samples were then analyzed for over 600 different metabolites using mass spectrometry. After completing a thorough and validated diagnostic tool, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, 241 participants were finally selected for the study.

Upon analyzing the data, the researchers identified a significant biomarker signal for bipolar disorder that was evident even after adjusting for variables like medication. Validation was performed on a separate group of patients who were clinically diagnosed with either major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder during the study's one-year follow-up. The combination of self-reported data and the biomarker test showed a significant enhancement in diagnosing bipolar disorder, particularly in cases where the diagnosis was not immediately evident. While the blood test is still in the proof-of-concept stage, the researchers believe it could serve as a valuable adjunct to existing diagnostic methods and may shed light on the biological origins of mental health disorders.

“The online assessment was more effective overall, but the biomarker test performs well and is much faster,” said Professor Sabine Bahn, who led the research. “A combination of both approaches would be ideal, as they’re complementary. In addition to the diagnostic capabilities of biomarkers, they could also be used to identify potential drug targets for mood disorders, which could lead to better treatments.”

Related Links:
University of Cambridge 

Platinum Supplier
Xylazine Immunoassay Test
Xylazine ELISA
Gold Supplier
ESR Analyzer
Complement 3 (C3) Test
GPP-100 C3 Kit
Virus/Pathogen Kits
QIAsymphony DSP

Print article


Clinical Chemistry

view channel
Image: A module with eight micro-devices, complete with microfluidic channels and drive motors (Photo courtesy of U.S Department of Energy)

Highly Sensitive pH Sensor to Aid Detection of Cancers and Vector-Borne Viruses

Understanding the acidity or alkalinity of substances through pH measurement is crucial in many fields, from environmental monitoring to healthcare product safety. In many cases, these measurements must... Read more


view channel
Image: The QScout hematology analyzer has received US FDA 510(k) clearance (Photo courtesy of Ad Astra Diagnostics)

First Rapid-Result Hematology Analyzer Reports Measures of Infection and Severity at POC

Sepsis, a critical medical condition that arises as an extreme response to infection, poses a significant health threat. It occurs when an infection triggers a widespread inflammatory response in the body.... Read more


view channel
Image: PointCheck is the world’s first device for non-invasive white cell monitoring (Photo courtesy of Leuko Labs)

World’s First Portable, Non-Invasive WBC Monitoring Device to Eliminate Need for Blood Draw

One of the toughest challenges for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy is experiencing a low count of white blood cells, also known as neutropenia. These cells play a crucial role in warding off infections.... Read more


view channel
Image: Current testing methods for antibiotic susceptibility rely on growing bacterial colonies in the presence of antibiotics (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test Returns Results within 30 Minutes

In 2019, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was responsible for the deaths of approximately 1.3 million individuals. The conventional approach for testing antimicrobial susceptibility involves cultivating... Read more


view channel
Image: AI methods used in satellite imaging can help researchers analyze tumor images (Photo courtesy of Karolinska Institutet)

AI Approach Combines Satellite Imaging and Ecology Techniques for Analysis of Tumor Tissue

Advancements in tumor imaging technology have significantly enhanced our ability to observe the minute details of tumors, but this also brings the challenge of interpreting vast amounts of data generated... Read more


view channel
Image: The acquisition significantly expands Medix Biochemica’s portfolio of IVD raw materials (Photo courtesy of ViroStat)

Medix Biochemica Acquires US-Based ViroStat to Expand Infectious Diseases Antibody Offering

Medix Biochemica (Espoo, Finland), a supplier of critical raw materials to the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry, has acquired ViroStat LLC (Portland, ME, USA), a provider of infectious disease antibodies... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2023 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.