RALEIGH, N.C. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Cholesterol, cancer, even infectious diseases: our blood can help doctors detect them all.
Now, blood is being used to figure out whatâ??s going on inside your head.
It affects 15 million Americans and impacts women twice as much as men.
Angel Schwiefert was diagnosed with depression, also known as major depressive disorder, a few years ago. She tried three different anti-depressants.
â??We really couldnâ??t get the dosages right or the right medications,â?? Angel Schwiefert told Ivanhoe.
â??I worry that these meds are thrown at folks,â?? James A. Smith, III, MD, Medical Director at Carolina Partners in Mental Health Care, told Ivanhoe.
Psychiatrist Doctor James Smith says with a wide variety of symptoms, diagnosing depression and getting patients the right treatment can mean a lot of trial and error.
â??Piecing it all together can be a bit of a challenge,â?? Dr. Smith said.
However, blood work could now take out some of the guess work. MDDScore is the first blood test to assist in the diagnosis of depression. With a routine blood draw, it measures nine biomarkers and ranks a personâ??s likelihood of having the condition from one to nine. The higher the score is, the higher the chance of depression.
â??I see it as extremely accurate,â?? Dr. Smith explained.
In studies funded by the test maker, MDDScore was more than 90 percent accurate in catching depression.
â??MDDScore more than anything else has given me an opportunity to hit it right on the nose,â?? Dr. Smith said. However, Duke Psychiatrist Dr. Harold G. Koenig has some concerns
â??False positives and false negatives, people who are diagnosed with depression with this test who donâ??t have depression, or missing the depression potentially in someone who really has it who wouldnâ??t get the treatment,â?? Harold G. Koenig, MD, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center, told Ivanhoe.
Angel scored high on the blood test.
â??I was totally surprised,â?? Angel said.
She says her psychiatrist upped the dosage of her anti-depressant from 37.5 to 375 milligrams a day.
â??Iâ??m much better,â?? Angel said.