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New Blood Test For Teen Depression Diagnosis In Development

4/17/2012 3:29 PM ET

A research team from Northwestern University has developed a new blood test to diagnose depression among teens. Lead researcher Eva Redei and her team broke the news in an official release on Tuesday, April 17 and say it could be a crucial new step in advancing depression treatments.

"Right now depression is treated with a blunt instrument. It's like treating type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes exactly the same way. We need to do better for these kids," Redei said in the press release.

With the new treatment, doctors can gain an objective reading of teens' depression risk based on genetic material collected in their blood. Until now, depression has only been diagnosed using subjective tests which depend on patients giving an accurate account of their symptoms.

"This is the first significant step for us to understand which treatment will be most effective for an individual patient," added Redei. "Without an objective diagnosis, it's very difficult to make that assessment. The early diagnosis and specific classification of early major depression could lead to a larger repertoire of more effective treatments and enhanced individualized care."

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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