Researchers have identified plasma protein-based biomarkers that can identify teenage mental health problems. With these markers, it may be possible to identify mental health problems early on, which now affect 10–20% of teenagers yet go mostly unnoticed and untreated.
The molecular processes connected to these proteins were discovered by bioinformatic investigations, paving the way for additional improvements in the treatment of mental illness. This exciting research may usher in a new era of youth mental health early identification and prevention.
University of Eastern Finland researchers have discovered plasma protein-based biomarkers that can recognize adolescents at risk of mental health problems.
An estimated 10 to 20 percent of teenagers experience mental health issues, with the majority going unrecognized and untreated.
Since they could change early detection and, in the future, prevention of mental health problems in young people, new, early indicators of mental health disorders are badly needed.
In a study conducted by Professor Katja Kanninen’s research team, participants between the ages of 11 and 16 had their self-reported SDQ (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) scores used to assess the risk of mental health.
Analyses of blood samples revealed that 58 proteins had a significant correlation with the SDQ score. The biological processes and pathways associated with the potential plasma protein biomarker candidates were found using bioinformatic analysis.
Immune responses, blood coagulation, neurogenesis, and neuronal degeneration were among the important enriched pathways associated with these proteins.
The study used a novel symbolic regression technique to build predictive models that effectively distinguish between groups with low and high SDQ scores.
Plasma biomarker investigations in mental diseases are a new topic, according to Professor Kanninen.
Alterations in plasma proteins have previously been linked to a number of mental health conditions, including bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, depression, and psychotic disorders.
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