don’t ask, don’t tell…

Posted on Friday 19 September 2014

It looks as if the Windy City of Chicago is taking the lead in figuring out if people are depressed without even asking them. Dr. Robert Gibbons of the University of Chicago is planning an an iPhone App that lets the cloud figure it out [insider trading…], and now Dr. Eva Redei of Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine adds a blood test to the mix, launched in the pages of Time Magazine, no less, …
TIME Magazine
Health Mental Health/Psychology
by Alice Park
Sept. 16, 2014

As with any disease, detecting depression early is critical for reducing suffering and for finding an effective course of treatment. Now, in a study released Tuesday, scientists led by Eva Redei at Northwestern Medicine say it may be possible to test for depression in the blood—and figure out which patients will benefit most from behavior-based therapy as a treatment.
First blood test to diagnose depression in adults
Date: September 17, 2014
Source: Northwestern University
Summary: The first blood test to diagnose major depression in adults has been developed, providing the first objective, scientific diagnosis for depression. The test also predicts who will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, offering the opportunity for more effective, individualized therapy. The test also showed the biological effects of the therapy, the first measurable, blood-based evidence of the therapy’s success and showed who is vulnerable to recurring episodes of depression…
But that’s not all. If you’ve been treated with Cognitive Behavior Therapy, either face-to-face or on the telephone, and you don’t know if it helped, their blood test will answer the question for you [or at least it panned out in the 64 subjects where they tried it]:
by E E Redei, B M Andrus, M J Kwasny, J Seok, X Cai, J Ho and D C Mohr
Translational Psychiatry. 2014 4:e442.
Published online 16 September 2014

An objective, laboratory-based diagnostic tool could increase the diagnostic accuracy of major depressive disorders [MDDs], identify factors that characterize patients and promote individualized therapy. The goal of this study was to assess a blood-based biomarker panel, which showed promise in adolescents with MDD, in adult primary care patients with MDD and age-, gender- and race-matched nondepressed [ND] controls. Patients with MDD received cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT] and clinical assessment using self-reported depression with the Patient Health Questionnaire–9 [PHQ-9]. The measures, including blood RNA collection, were obtained before and after 18 weeks of CBT. Blood transcript levels of nine markers of ADCY3, DGKA, FAM46A, IGSF4A/CADM1, KIAA1539, MARCKS, PSME1, RAPH1 and TLR7, differed significantly between participants with MDD [N=32] and ND controls [N=32] at baseline [q< 0.05]. Abundance of the DGKA, KIAA1539 and RAPH1 transcripts remained significantly different between subjects with MDD and ND controls even after post-CBT remission [defined as PHQ-9 <5]. The ROC area under the curve for these transcripts demonstrated high discriminative ability between MDD and ND participants, regardless of their current clinical status. Before CBT, significant co-expression network of specific transcripts existed in MDD subjects who subsequently remitted in response to CBT, but not in those who remained depressed. Thus, blood levels of different transcript panels may identify the depressed from the nondepressed among primary care patients, during a depressive episode or in remission, or follow and predict response to CBT in depressed individuals.
You can read the full paper in Translational Psychiatry, a peer reviewed, on-line only journal where the authors paid the price of admission:
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    September 19, 2014 | 2:29 PM

    this is so unbelievably stupid that words fail me. just wow.

    how are people even able to call themselves doctors for accepting trash like this as gospel? it’s so irritating. obviously redei is another crony in a long list, acting on behalf of those looking to leech health care subsidies through diagnostic tests/devices.

    Steve Lucas
    September 19, 2014 | 3:25 PM

    Resistance is futile.

    A drug for every person
    and every person shall take a drug.

    This is an interesting take on spending and the pitfalls of American medicine:

    Steve Lucas

    James O'Brien, M.D.
    September 19, 2014 | 3:33 PM

    Right on schedule, Krusty the KOL endorses this product and/or service.

    September 19, 2014 | 5:32 PM

    Christ in a clam shell.

    September 19, 2014 | 7:23 PM

    And when the inevitable failure to replicate with a larger population occurs, I doubt the news will be trumpeted by Time or Science Daily.

    September 20, 2014 | 8:58 AM

    Let me see if I understand this correctly. If I go to a naturopath, that person is a quack and not practicing evidenced based medicine. But the doctor who does a blood test for depression is? Yeah right.

    Just so folks know, I am not a fan of alternative medicine but am trying to point out the ironies of what gets labeled as evidenced based medicine and what doesn’t.

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