SOURCE: University of North Carolina, news release, Sept. 22, 2014
THURSDAY, Sept. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A blood test may help identify people at risk for psychosis, a new study suggests.
Psychosis, which includes hallucinations or delusions, is caused by severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia, according to background information from the study.
Researchers evaluated the experimental blood test in psychiatric patients with symptoms associated with a high risk for psychosis. The blood test identified people who later developed psychosis, according to the preliminary findings recently published online in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.
"The blood test included a selection of 15 measures of immune and hormonal system imbalances as well as evidence of oxidative stress," study corresponding author Dr. Diana Perkins, professor of psychiatry in the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, said in a university news release.
"While further research is required before this blood test could be clinically available, these results provide evidence regarding the fundamental nature of schizophrenia, and point towards novel pathways that could be targets for preventative interventions," added Perkins.
Schizophrenia, which develops in late adolescence and early adulthood, affects about 1 in 100 people.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about schizophrenia.