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Indiana U researchers develop blood test for anxiety

Researchers at the Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine have developed a blood test for anxiety.

The test looks for biomarkers that can help researchers objectively determine someone’s risk for developing anxiety, the severity of their current anxiety, and which therapeutics would likely serve as their best options.

“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,” says IU professor Alexander Niculescu. “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 and his research team have also developed blood tests for pain, depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. He says the new test for anxiety could be used in combination with the others to provide a more comprehensive view of a patient’s mental health and risk of future mental health concerns.

“This is something that could be a panel test as part of a patient’s regular wellness visits to evaluate their mental health over time and prevent any future distress,” Niculescu says. “Prevention is better in the long run, so our goal is to be able to provide a comprehensive report for patients and their physicians using simply one tube of blood.”

Source: Indiana University School of Medicine

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