Scientists at Tokyo’s Keio University say they’ve developed a new blood test to diagnoses depression in minutes, by measuring the concentration of phosphoric acid in a person’s blood.
The researchers at Human Metabolome Technologies studied 66 people, 31 of whom were diagnosed with depression. They say there’s a link between phosphoric acid and depression, and that 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. ’We believe that the use of such a test will make it possible to diagnose patients efficiently at the primary care stage.’
Skeptics wonder how it’ll work on many varieties of depression, and take into account day by day variation in mood. Depending on clinical tests and the Japanese authorities the blood test could be available to doctors in Japan in 2 years.