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This New Blood Test Could Personalise Depression Treatments for the First Time

Scientists have developed a new blood test that could finally lead to personalised depression treatments for patients, giving doctors a tool that can identify which antidepressants are likely to work for patients the first time around, instead of relying on trial and error.

This could make a huge difference, because the current treatment method for depression – doctors trying out one medication after another until something sticks – isn’t effective, with roughly 50 percent of all first-time prescriptions failing to help those in need. And even if a treatment does end up working, it can take weeks to find out either way.

The new test, developed by researchers from King’s College London in the UK, can predict if a certain antidepressant would work on an individual patient,before a doctor prescribes it, by looking for two inflammation biomarkers.

These two biomarkers have previously been linked to patients who have a poor response to typical medications. The test can accurately measure how many of these biomarkers a person has, and if they have higher than a certain threshold, they will likely not respond to what’s called ‘first-line antidepressants‘ – the ones that doctors typically test first up.

“The identification of biomarkers that predict treatment response is crucial in reducing the social and economic burden of depression, and improving quality of life of patients,” lead researcher Carmine Pariante told John von Radowitz from The Independent.

“This study provides a clinically suitable approach for personalising antidepressant therapy – patients who have blood inflammation above a certain threshold could be directed toward earlier access to more assertive antidepressant strategies, including the addition of other antidepressants or anti-inflammatory drugs,” he addedRead More>>

Source: Science Alert