A Simple Blood Test Can Identify Pediatric Individuals At Risk For Schizophrenia

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Blood in vilesA new study from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, claims to have created a novel method to accurately diagnose psychosis in its earliest stages, and the simple blood test may be able to identify pediatric patients who are at a high risk for developing psychosis, according to the report published in Schizophrenia Bulletin.

“The blood test included a selection of 15 measures of immune and hormonal system imbalances as well as evidence of oxidative stress,” said Diana O. Perkins, professor of psychiatry in the UNC School of Medicine and corresponding author of the study, in a press release.

“While further research is required before this blood test could be clinically available, these results provide evidence regarding the fundamental nature of schizophrenia, and point towards novel pathways that could be targets for preventative interventions.”

Psychosis is a symptom of several severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and is characterized by hallucinations or delusions.

“Modern, computer-based methods can readily discover seemingly clear patterns from nonsensical data,” said Clark D. Jeffries, bioinformatics scientist at the UNC-based Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI). “Added to that, scientific results from studies of complex disorders like schizophrenia can be confounded by many hidden dependencies. Thus, stringent testing is necessary to build a useful classifier. We did that.”

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