What if a single blood test could tell you the proper treatment for your depression?
Currently, 50 per cent of patients don’t respond at all to common antidepressants. This means that doctors pick your antidepressants based on trial and error. And let’s face it, trial and error isn’t really a practice we want to entrust our lives to.
Well, we have some good news for you: a new test was recently developed by researchers at King’s College London that can tell you whether or not you’ll respond well to antidepressants.
The blood test basically looks for natural inflammation in your immune system, which is the culprit that usually interferes with your meds. Any sign of inflammation–usually from stress–means that white blood cells (aka the seek and destroy cells that kill foreign particles in your body) are being produced at a higher rate and will actually destroy most antidepressants.
If you have a low level of inflammation, you’ll most likely do well with a common antidepressant. But medication more aggressive in nature is needed for anyone with a high level of inflammation. Doctors will also know if they should combine these more complicated antidepressants with antiinflammatories to keep those white blood cells at bay.
“In terms of cost, we are talking about a few pounds per test. It is a very straightforward technique that would make use of existing facilities,” said Dr. Carmine Pariante, the study’s leading author. “It brings a completely new understanding of depression. It confirms that the notion of depression is not just in the mind, it effects the brain and body at the same time.”
Until now, many patients have been given new medication every 12 weeks, depending on whether they’re reacting to an antidepressant properly or not. This new test will erase all the anxiety; the suffocating-aggravation from having to go on and off different combos of meds. You do you.