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Diagnostics Depression

Blood Test for Depression

5 years, 6 months ago

2941  0
Posted on Jun 10, 2014, 6 a.m.

Detects low levels of serotonin transporter protein.

Serotonin transporter (SERT) is a protein in the cell membrane that facilitates the transport of the neurotransmitter serotonin – levels of which associate with mood, into the cell. Depression can frequently be caused by a lack of serotonin. Christian Scharinger, from MedUni Vienna (Austria), and colleagues have devised a blood test to detect depression. Specifically, the test measures the speed of the serotonin uptake in blood platelets and the function of a depression network in the brain, known as the "default mode network.”  Observing an “important role of neuronal [serotonin] reuptake in [default mode network] regulation," the study authors are hopeful that “a blood test is possible in principle for diagnosing depression and could become reality in the not too distant future."

Christian Scharinger, Ulrich Rabl, Christian H. Kasess, Bernhard M. Meyer, Tina Hofmaier, Kersten Diers, et al.  “Platelet Serotonin Transporter Function Predicts Default-Mode Network Activity.”  PLOS ONE, 25 Mar 2014.

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