London: Now, a simple blood test that can diagnose depression instantly, say Japanese scientists.
A at Keio University in Tokyo has devised the test which it claims indicates depression levels by measuring the concentration of phosphoric acid in the blood and the whole process takes only a few minutes.
The new test could help improve early detection rates of depression if performed during regular medical checks, say the scientists in collaboration with medical research group Human Metabolome Technologies.
The connection between phosphoric acid levels and depression was confirmed in an earlier study conducted by the company involving 66 people, 31 of whom were diagnosed with depression.
The latest study showed that patients with depression had a lower concentration of what is known as ethanolamine phosphate, with researchers subsequently able to diagnose depressed patients on this basis with 82 per cent success.
In contrast, earlier blood tests for diagnosing depression which have previously been under development involve significantly more time- consuming DNA analysis of white blood cells.
Dr Yoshiaki Ohashi, a board director and chief security officer at HMT, told `The Daily Telegraph`: "The findings will make it easier for an objective, biological diagnosis of depressive patients.
"We believe that the use of such a test will make it possible to diagnose patients efficiently at the primary care stage."