Assessment of a multi-assay, serum-based biological diagnostic test for major depressive disorder: a pilot and replication study

Papakostas G.I., Shelton R.C., Kinrys G., Henry M.E., Bakow B.R., Lipkin S.H., Pi B., Thurmond L., Bilello J.A. Assessment of a multi-assay, serum-based biological diagnostic test for major depressive disorder: a pilot and replication study. Molecular Psychiatry 18:332-339, 2013.


This was the first demonstration of a reliable and accurate blood diagnostic test for depression using multiple biomarkers. The test showed a sensitivity of 92% and a specificity of 81%, which is comparable to other diagnostic tests in medicine. This paper reviews the state of blood-based diagnostic tests in depression. The reader will become familiar with a novel approach to diagnosing depression using a blood test.

If the data are replicated, this may become a widely available test for the diagnosis of depression. Future research will attempt to develop a test that is useful for distinguishing depression from other psychiatric disorders.