Researchers at Ohio State University are searching for a way to and quickly and accurately test for bipolar disorder in children. The scientists think they may have found it: a blood test which looks for a protein associated with vitamin D.
Finding a blood test could reduce the current average diagnosis time of ten years, said Ouliana Ziouzenkova, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of human nutrition at Ohio State.
In the study of 36 young people, levels of the vitamin D binding protein were 36 percent higher in those with bipolar disorder than in those without a mood disorder. The study appears online in the journal Translational Psychiatry.
Ziouzenkova said it made sense to look at vitamin D binding protein because it potentially plays a role in brain inflammation. The researchers also looked at inflammatory markers in the blood, but found no significant correlations. Looking for the nutrient vitamin D in the blood, as opposed to the binding protein, appears to have low diagnostic power, she said.
Confirming that the blood test works will take time, but Ziouzenkova and her colleagues are excited about the potential to help kids and their parents.
Materials provided by Ohio State University.