A Blood Test for Schizophrenia with 83% Accuracy?

von freakoutcrazy

An NBC online News article dated October 15, 2010, carried the noteworthy title New blood test may help detect schizophreniaThanks to Francesca for the link.

The article was written by Natasha Allen, a freelance medical journalist.  The gist of the article is that there is a new blood test called VeriPsych which “researchers say” is 83% accurate in discriminating people who are “schizophrenic” from people who are not.

One of the researchers – Michael Spain, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Rules-Based Medicine, is quoted as saying:

“There is a certain amount of denial when a child is diagnosed with schizophrenia. You wish that your child did not have that…It is a good test to convince parents or even the patient to stay on medication, as opposed to just subjective opinion.” [Emphasis added]

The article also points out that Rules-Based Medicine is the company that makes the test and funded the study.

The study itself is published in Biomarker Insights, a peer-reviewed journal that began publishing in 2006 and is owned by Libertas Academia.  The study appeared in the May 2010 issue and is called Validation of a Blood-Based Laboratory Test to Aid in the Confirmation of a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia. There are 24 authors.  The lead author is Emanuel Schwarz of the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, UK.  The Institute of Biotechnology had reportedly served as consultants to Rules-Based Medicine.  Five other authors, including Sabine Bahn, MD, PhD, MRCPsych, have links to the Institute.

An additional four authors, including Dr. Spain, report links to Rules-Based Medicine Inc.

Another author reports links to Psynova Neurotech Ltd., Cambridge, UK (a subsidiary of Rules-Based Medicine).  And another reports links to the Stanley Medical Research Institute, Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Here’s the study’s abstract: