New Israeli blood test can diagnose bipolar disorder – study

An illustrative photo of a blood test. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


The blood test, made by researchers at Israel’s University of Haifa, can identify peopl coping with bipolar disorder and help figure out what medications are needed for treatment.


A simple blood test developed by the University of Haifa neurobiologists can identify people coping with bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression) and predict the efficacy of lithium – the drug given to patients with this disorder. It is quite common, with one in every 100 adults diagnosed with it at some point in their life. It can appear at any age, but it often develops between the ages of 15 and 19 and rarely after 40.Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric illness that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration. These shifts can make it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks.

The manic phase can include feeling full of energy, self-important, very happy, elated, or overjoyed; talking very quickly; feeling full of great new ideas and having important plans; being easily distracted, irritated, or agitated.

People with bipolar disorder experience dramatic shifts in mood that may include periods of depression and mania, but it doesn’t involve only mood swings. The nature and severity of these symptoms depend on the type of bipolar disorder that they have. Bipolar I affects people who experience at least one manic episode in their lives. Although not required for the formal diagnosis, the vast majority will also experience major depressive episodes during the course of their lives.

Bipolar II involves at least one hypomanic episode (a less serious form of mania) and at least one major depressive episode.

Dr. Shani Stern (credit: UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA)
Dr. Shani Stern (credit: UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA)