New biomarker identified in women with mental illness

A new biomarker identified in women with mental illness.

From Medical News Today, June 22, 2015:

Psychiatric disorders can be difficult to diagnose because clinicians must rely upon interpreted clues, such as a patient’s behaviors and feelings. For the first time, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report identifying a biological marker: the over-production of specific genes that could be a diagnostic indicator of mental illness in female psychiatric patients.

“There has been an utmost urgency to identify biomarkers for mental illness that could significantly impact research and drug development,” said Xianjin Zhou, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine and lead author.

Zhou and his team said reversing the abnormal activity of the inactive X chromosome in patients suffering from mental illness may offer a potential new strategy for treating psychiatric disorders.

“Our results indicate that a large subpopulation of female psychiatric patients from the general population may have abnormal function of the inactive X chromosome,” said Zhou. “These results are powerful in that early diagnosis of mental illness could possibly happen with a simple blood test, leading to better interventions, therapy and treatment options.”

Read entire article at MedicalNewsToday.com.

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