Researchers have developed a blood test, which can help doctors accurately diagnose depression in adults.

Depression is considered a mental state of mind where an individual feels dejected or melancholic. A person under depression normally loses interest in activities that gives pleasure. A depressed person may have difficulties to concentrate, feel agitated and fatigued. Depression can also lead a person to certain behaviors such as smoking, drinking and more, which can lead to health problems. In some cases, depression can also result in a person committing suicide.

Thousands of people suffer from depression worldwide and government health agencies often spend a lot of money to battle depression.

Eva Redei, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, who is the lead investigator and co-author of the study, reveals that around 7 percent of the adults in the U.S. are affected with depression each year. The researchers suggest that the delay between the start of depression symptoms and then starting its diagnosis can vary from 2 to 40 months. Redei suggests that the longer the delay, the harder it can get for the patient and their family.

Redei points out that in many cases the patient is not willing to communicate with a doctor, which makes the diagnosis difficult. The new study, which uses blood samples to test depression, can help doctors and individuals in starting the diagnosis as soon as possible.

The researchers suggest that the study included 64 participants to establish the effectiveness of the test. Half the participants were being diagnosed with depression and the rest were non-depressed. The participants were between the ages of 21 and 79 years. Blood samples were taken from all the participants.

The authors explain that the new blood test developed measures blood levels of nine different types of RNA, a molecule that the human body uses to process DNA. The researchers reveal that the RNA markers differed significantly in the two groups.

The study also revealed that the depressed participants were sent for cognitive behavioral therapy for 18 weeks. After the therapy, blood samples of the depressed people were re-tested. The researchers reveal that they were able to find if a person benefited from the therapy by examining the RNA marker.

The study is an important step to detect depression just with a simple blood test. However, a research on a larger scale is needed to measure the accuracy of the test.

The study has been published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

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