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Blood test for depression? Thoughts?

21 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I don't see how this can be a good thing. False negatives could be potentially devastating.

I can see this being a research tool to help us understand endophenotypes of depression and predictors of treatmet response. But I can't see this being a good idea at point of care unless it can be proven that it is extremely sensitive.

Edited by tryp

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Posted

I think it's interesting.  I wonder what else is going to come out?  But, I wouldn't pay for it out-of-pocket if it isn't covered by insurance.

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Posted

Well, my last thought is the cost. I fully admit I have no idea how much a blood test for lithium costs, or a blood test for thyroid stuff costs. These are fairly "regular" tests that insurance companies pay for. But if i was queen of insurance I don't know if I would pay for this depression test.

 

I've read other articles about the prospects of a blood test for MI and I may have posted them. I like the idea but its the correct answer rate (for lack of better scientific term) that concerns me for a blood screening for depression, MI, etc.

 

db

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Posted

I think this is an incredible breakthrough! Medicine is finally coming out with tests for mental illnesses. It could be devastating but if the person is self-harming, suicidal or otherwise not functioning I doubt a decent physician would suggest it's not real. Plus if a blood test told me I wasn't depressed maybe it would cause a placebo effect. I don't know, this raises a lot of questions but I'm optimistic about it!

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Posted

I just don't see what it could accomplish that a decently competent physician taking a detailed history could not.

Sure, it would feel good for people who tested positive, but what about the negatives?

In physical illnesses, a screening test is followed by further imaging and confirmation. There is nothing further to verify the results of this test or catch individuals who are missed.

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Posted

I think it might be easier to accept a dx if you have a test and data.  I would think the competent physician would still take a history to verify the results.

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Posted

I just don't really see depression as a yes/no answer. It is a spectrum and there are different subtypes and symptom clusters. I don't think this test provides any information that I would find relevant.

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Posted

I just think it's exciting that they are starting to come out with tests.  If you could differentiate bipolar and schizophrenia or major depression from bipolar that would be helpful.  And, I'm waiting for one that will predict which meds will work best.

 

(I know this test doesn't do any of that, just thinking)

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Posted (edited)

Tests that could differentiate similar illnesses would certainly be useful. I just doubt that psychiatry will ever be simplified to the point where a yes/no answer is possible. Maybe I am wrong.

I can just foresee a test like this being used to replace a comprehensive assessment by a psychiatrist, leading to incorrect treatment.

I have always been taught "Don't order a test unless it will change your management of the patient."

Edited by tryp

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Posted

I think it could be really good or really bad. I think tryp has a point and too further that are they going too make this availabe too people before they can use blood tests too identity MI other thanl MDD?

For example how many wipe BP who seek treatment during a depressive episode would get this blood test and if they did would they test positive? If not then would they be turned away and told there is nothing wrong with them? And if they test positive, got diagnosed with MDD and put on an SSRI, we know the damage that can cause and tons of people could be sent into destructive mania.

I think releasing this might be premature. They're is too much of a spectrum and too many overlapping symptoms in MI but if they could come with more test or a test that explores other possibilities than just one diagnosis than it. would be awesome.

Ofcourse if someone had been going too a pdoc for a while and pdoc was already pretty sure it was MDD then gives a blood test just too further prove the diagnosis that would be great too

It definitly has potential too destigmatize MI but should not replace pyschological evaluations

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Posted

I wonder how this would work with depression that is situational, rather than purely chemical. Would it be able to identify "oh, you're grieving, and that's why you're sad" without a history being taken? I doubt it.

 

I did manage to get dx'd with depression once: they didn't do a good screening job and we were being abused at the time, as well as abusing drugs to cope with the abuse. Because they were never told about the abuse the symptoms seemed similar enough, I guess. I wonder what a test would have said; I doubt that it, too, would have noticed that pain that we were actually in.

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Posted

Thats a really good point rosie

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Posted

The MDDScore test is expected to cost $745.

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Posted (edited)

;

Edited by Cacia

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Posted

I wouldn't want it solely to diagnose depression, but maybe as an adjunct to other factors.

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Posted

The MDDScore test is expected to cost $745.

Psh. Yeah, okay. 

 

I don't need to spend $745 to figure out that I feel like ass. I already KNOW that, and so does my doctor. I mean, the people who are going to pay for these tests, well, they already know something is wrong with them, right? So why don't they go see a person to diagnose them? It's cheaper. I find it interesting that it's possible to tell whether or not someone suffers from depression with a blood test, but I have no idea why this would be necessary. "He fits the DSM criteria for depression, but I think he's lying! Let's submit him to a blood test!"

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Posted

I think the whole idea behind this is too destigmitize and make people realize its a physical illness. Which is awesome and its needed but it might backfire. Like could it get too the point where insurance companies would refuses too pay for depression treatment if you dont test positive?

If it werent for alll the concerns though I would love too take the results and shove it in alll the peoples faces who tell me too just get over it.

Something needs too happen too destigmitize.

Also I wonder how this test might eventually be used too determine dissability eligibility

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Posted

An interesting blog post on the subject.

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Posted

There seems to be too many variables when looking at depression in general, let alone a blood test.

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Posted

thanks kateislate, I like neuroskeptic and didn't think to check if they mentioned it. 

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