Blood test detects depression in minutes

A new blood test developed in Japan has the ability to diagnose depression in a matter of minutes.

Japanese scientists at Keio University in Tokyo have developed a new blood test that diagnoses depression in a matter of minutes, by simply measuring the concentration of phosphoric acid in ones blood.

The researchers from the medical research group Human Metabolome Technologies (HMT) carried out an initial study involving 66 people, of which 31 were diagnosed with depression.

This lead them to find a link between phosphoric acid and depression, concluding people with depression have a lower concentration of ethanolamine phosphate.

‘The findings will make it easier for an objective, biological diagnosis of depressive patients,’ says Dr Yoshiaki Ohashi, a board director and chief security officer at HMT.

‘We believe that the use of such a test will make it possible to diagnose patients efficiently at the primary care stage.’

Once the depression blood test has passed clinical tests and health ministry approval, HMT hope it will be available to doctors within the next two years, assisting the early detection of depression.  

According to the Office for National Statistics, depression affects 1 in 10 adults in Britain at any one time, 11.2 per cent being women and 7.2 per cent being men.

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