Will a simple blood test diagnose mental illness in the future?


For most folks with mental illness, whether it’s an affective disorder like depression or bipolar or a brain disorder like schizophrenia, identifying and diagnosing the ailment is a subjective process. A diagnosis comes from talking to a therapist, psychiatrist, or physician (or a combination of all three), and sharing your emotions and behavior. But what if you could simply take a blood test and find out if you had a mental illness?

We knew that mental illness could be hereditary, but in a small new study published in the journalEBioMedicine, researchers at the University of California, San Diego think they’ve found a new genetic biomarker linked to mental illness in women.

(Over)express yourself

The researchers analyzed a group of 96 women, 36 of whom were “controls” with no mental illness and 60 of whom had either bipolar disorder or recurrent major depression. In the women with mental illnesses, they found that the expression of…

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