Anxious about anxiety? Now a simple blood test may help detect it
Researchers in the US have successfully created a blood test for anxiety that looks at biomarkers to assist clinicians in determining a patient's risk for developing anxiety,
Researchers in the US have successfully created a blood test for anxiety that looks at biomarkers to assist clinicians in determining a patient’s risk for developing anxiety, the intensity of that anxiety, and the therapies that are most appropriate for them.
The worry that many individuals experience can be very crippling and interfere with daily life, according to psychiatry professor Alexander Niculescu of Indiana University School of Medicine.
According to an article in Molecular Psychiatry, scientists were able to determine a patient’s level of anxiety by analyzing RNA biomarkers found in their blood samples. By examining the patient’s biology, they were able to match them with appropriate medications and nutraceuticals and determine the efficacy of different treatment options.
“Many people are suffering from anxiety, which can be very disabling and interfere with daily life,” said professor of psychiatry Alexander Niculescu, from Indiana University School of Medicine.
“The current approach is to talk to people about how they feel to see if they could be on medications, but some medications can be addictive and create more problems. We wanted to see if our approach to identify blood biomarkers could help us match people to existing medications that will work better and could be a non-addictive choice,” Niculescu added.
The availability of an objective tool like this is highly advantageous in assisting individuals because it provides information on their current condition, future risk, and suitable treatment options based on their profile.
Additionally, the test can evaluate changes in a person’s biomarkers over time to determine their risk of developing more severe anxiety and how other factors, such as hormonal changes, may affect their anxiety.
Moreover, this test can be used alongside other blood tests to provide a more holistic view of a patient’s mental health and risk of future mental health issues.
Researchers can use the test results to create more targeted treatments for anxiety that cater to specific biomarkers.
Niculescu suggests that the test could become part of a patient’s regular wellness visits to monitor their mental health over time and prevent future distress. The ultimate goal is to provide patients and physicians with a comprehensive report using only one blood sample. Prevention is crucial for long-term well-being.