Researchers in France have discovered a set of blood biomarkers specific to bipolar disorder which indicate the presence of the illness, thus allowing them to develop a world-first blood test to diagnose the condition. Diagnosing bipolar disorder has traditionally been difficult and complex, leading to an average seven year wait for diagnosis.
The research team was made up of researchers from Alcediag (a French company specializing in precision psychiatry), Montpellier University Hospital, Les Toises Psychiatry Centre in Lausanne, and the University of Pittsburgh.
The study comprised of 410 individuals and managed to identify six major biomarkers which point to bipolar disorder. Remarkably, the novel blood test subsequently developed possesses high diagnostic performance with sensitivity of over 80%.
The six blood biomarkers identified match modifications in the RNA sequence of genes associated with bipolar disorder – achieved through a mixture of AI and RNA editing.
The research has been continued by a European project called EDIT-B – named after the test – and is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for Health. It is hoped that the project will achieve regulatory validation according to the European regulation IVDR 2017/746.