Blood Test For Anxiety: In a bid to help people easily detect anxiety, researchers in the United States have developed a blood test that examines biomarkers to help doctors objectively determine a person’s risk for developing anxiety. The test can also help doctors examine the severity of anxiety and also therapies that are best suited for them.
“A lot of people these days suffer from anxiety. This can be very disabling and interfere with daily life,” said professor of psychiatry Alexander Niculescu, from Indiana University School of Medicine.
Some medications for anxiety can be addictive
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Talking about the current approach, Niculescu said that they want to speak to people to know how they feel to see if they could be on medications. However, Niculescu added that some medications can be addictive and create more problems. “Researchers wanted to find out if their approach to identifying blood biomarkers could help in matching people to existing medications that will work better and could be a non-addictive choice,” Niculescu added.
The study has been published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. It showed that researchers could identify the current state of anxiety of a patient by examining the RNA biomarkers in blood samples. Researchers then matched them with medications and nutraceuticals, showing how effective different options could be for them based on their biology.
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Niculescu said that there are other methods to treat anxiety, apart from medications. Some of them are cognitive behavioural therapy or lifestyle changes.
Niculescu is of the view that knowing someone’s current state as well as their future risk can help identify treatment options matching their profile.
It is to be noted that the biomarkers of an individual can also change over time. Niculescu said the test can be helpful in evaluating a person’s risk of developing higher levels of anxiety in the future. This will also help medical practitioners to understand how other factors, like hormonal changes, might impact their anxiety.