Indian University Researchers Develop Blood Test To Measure Anxiety Levels 

In Education

Describing anxiety is often difficult, and quantifying it is even more challenging. Often, anxious sensations arise without warning, making it difficult to understand what is happening. Nevertheless, researchers at Indiana University have made a breakthrough by creating a blood test that can measure anxiety levels. 

Researchers develop a blood test to test the level of anxiety 

The test examines biomarkers that accurately assess an individual’s likelihood of developing anxiety, the intensity of their present anxiety, and the most suitable therapeutic approaches for managing their anxiety. The test has already been verified, and the scientists are now working on developing it for broader use by medical practitioners at MindX Sciences.

In a statement, Alexander Niculescu, MD, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry, expressed concern over the high prevalence of anxiety, which can severely impair daily life. He noted that the conventional approach to diagnosing anxiety entails interviewing patients about their symptoms and deciding whether medications may be necessary. Nevertheless, some of these drugs are addictive. Therefore, researchers sought to determine whether their blood biomarker-based approach could identify suitable medications that are effective yet non-addictive for each patient.

Previous blood tests developed for pain, PTSD, depression, and bipolar 

Professor Niculescu has previously conducted research that has contributed to the development of blood tests for a variety of conditions, including pain, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. In a similar vein, the latest study focused on anxiety. The researchers evaluated three distinct cohorts – discovery, validation, and testing. Subjects in these groups underwent blood tests every 3-6 months or any time they were admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a new condition.

The scientists analyzed RNA biomarkers found in blood to identify the extent of a patient’s anxiety. Additionally, they were even able to “match” patients with specific nutraceuticals and drugs that would be most beneficial to them based on their unique biological makeup.

Niculescu said that apart from medication, other approaches, such as lifestyle changes or cognitive behavioral therapy, can be used to manage anxiety. However, the latest discovery will make it possible to know the needs of the patients and offer treatment matching their profile. 

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