Head-depression blood test



BACKGROUND:    Depression goes beyond feeling sad.  It is a serious medical illness that affects a patient’s thoughts, behavior, mood, feelings, and physical health.  It is a life-long condition where patients experience periods of wellness with recurrences of illness.  Every year depression affects five to eight percent of adults in the United States.  Major depression, also known as clinical depression, and chronic depression, called dysthymia, are the two most common types.  However, there are other types that have unique signs, symptoms, and treatment. (Source: www.webmd.com)

 TYPES/SYMPTOMS:  Major depressive disorder is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to sleep, work, study, and eat.  An episode of clinical depression can occur only once in a person’s life, but it also can reoccur throughout a person’s life.  Chronic depression is characterized by a long-term (two or more years) depressed mood.  It is less severe than major depression and does not typically disable the person.  Atypical, or regular, depression’s symptoms tend to be marked by pervasive sadness and a pattern of loss of appetite and difficulty falling or staying asleep.  Although overeating, oversleeping, fatigue, extreme sensitivity to rejection, and moods that worsen are other symptoms associated with atypical depression.  Seasonal depression is depression that occurs every year at the same time.  It usually starts in the fall or winter and ends in the spring or summer.  Psychotic depression’s symptoms include delusional thoughts or other symptoms related with reality.  Finally, postpartum depression is diagnosed when a new mother develops a major depressive episode within one month after they deliver the baby.  It affects one in ten moms.  (Source:  www.webmd.com)

 NEW TECHNOLOGY:  There are numerous depression treatments available.  Medications and psychological counseling are very effective for many people.  However, often depression is misdiagnosed and depression can have a wide variety of symptoms.  So, diagnosing depression and getting the right treatment for patients can mean a lot of experimentation.  The MDDScore is a simple blood test that can aid in the diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD).  It looks at a combination of biochemicals from four different biological pathways in the body.  The blood levels of the individual body chemicals are measured and then entered into a mathematical equation to obtain a single test score.  The score then represents a person’s likelihood of having MDD.  The MDDScore is not meant to replace traditional interview methods, but it is meant to add an unbiased element that compliments the patient interview.  The benefits of a MDDScore include: it provides biological evidence to support a diagnosis, increases confidence and acceptance in the diagnosis, helps the patient and their loved ones better understand their medical condition, and it empowers the patient to accept and manage the disorder.  Most insurance companies are reimbursing for the test.  (Source: www.mddscore.com)