Blood Test Aims to ID Bipolar Moods

Could be used to diagnose disorder, though ethical issues abound
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2008 6:17 AM CST
Blood Test Aims to ID Bipolar Moods
A graphic charts number of children ages 0-19 diagnosed as bipolar between 1994 and 2003. The new genetic markers could help resolve questionable diagnoses.   (Associated Press)

Researchers at Indiana University have developed a blood test that uses genetic markers to identify a patient's mood state, a discovery that could herald a breakthrough in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Widespread tests are still at least 5 years away, but already many are concerned that results would be used to screen employees, military enlistees, or even college applicants, MSNBC reports.

“We should look beyond the stigma of a mental illness because the most important thing is to have a very clear diagnosis,” emphasized one psychiatrist. Bipolar disorder can be difficult to assess, as a diagosis is heavily based on the patient's own description of symptoms. An empirical test for elevated or depressed moods would be a breakthrough for psychiatry. (Read more bipolar disorder stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.