Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood Tests May Be Possible For Mental Health Conditions

Date:
March 9, 2007
Source:
University of Iowa
Summary:
Blood tests for panic disorder and other mental health conditions are potentially around the corner, based on results from a University of Iowa study. The findings, which were based on analysis of genetic information in lymphoblasts, or immature white blood cells, appear in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.

Blood tests for panic disorder and other mental health conditions are potentially around the corner, based on results from a University of Iowa study.

The findings, which were based on analysis of genetic information in immature white blood cells, appear online March 6 in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.

"The ability to test for panic disorder is a quantum leap in psychiatry," said the study's lead author, Robert Philibert, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychiatry in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

"Panic disorder will no longer be a purely descriptive diagnosis, but, as with cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome and other conditions, a diagnosis based on genetic information," he said. "In addition, the finding could help us better understand the pathways that initiate, promote and maintain panic disorder."

The team compared gene expression in lymphoblasts (immature white blood cells) culled from 16 participants with panic disorder and 17 participants without the disorder. The study found many genes were more expressed in people with panic disorder than in people without the condition. Similarly, the study found many genes were less expressed in people with panic disorder. There were also sex-related differences.

Overall, people with panic disorder had noticeably different patterns of gene expression than people without the disorder. Although panic disorder is a disease of brain cells, the study used lymphoblasts as "stand-ins" for the genetic testing because brain cells are not accessible or easily tested.

Approximately 3 percent of people in the United States have panic disorder, which involves having at least one panic attack every four weeks. Panic attacks can involve up to 10 symptoms, including palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating and a feeling of loss of control or dying -- symptoms that are very similar to heart attack symptoms.

"People with panic disorder often end up in the emergency room for heart tests when in fact they have panic disorder. This is just one of the reasons that it would be helpful to have a blood test for panic disorder," Philibert said.

A blood test for commercial use is now being developed by the UI, which raises larger questions about how information revealed by such tests will be used. The issue of patient medical records and how they can potentially be used by employers, insurers, government agencies and other institutions is a concern, Philibert said.

"Science is like a hammer. You can use it to build a house or break a window," Philibert said. "We certainly intend for this finding to help people manage their disease, and when possible, to prevent it from affecting their lives.

"If we can, it could help us identify systems that interact with the environment and possibly lead the way to new, even non-drug, therapies to prevent illness," he added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Iowa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Iowa. "Blood Tests May Be Possible For Mental Health Conditions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070306101139.htm>.
University of Iowa. (2007, March 9). Blood Tests May Be Possible For Mental Health Conditions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070306101139.htm
University of Iowa. "Blood Tests May Be Possible For Mental Health Conditions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070306101139.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins