A blood test may have the potential to speed accurate diagnosis--and proper treatment--of bipolar disorder in children, suggests a study at Ohio State University, Columbus, as researchers found that children with bipolar disorder have higher blood levels of a protein associated with vitamin D compared to children without mood disorders.
Finding a blood test to confirm bipolar disorder could improve care and cut the current 10-year average lag time between onset and diagnosis, says study lead author Ouliana Ziouzenkova, associate professor of human nutrition.
In the study, levels of the vitamin D binding protein were 36% higher in those with bipolar disorder than in those without a mood disorder. Confirming the significance of the blood marker with further research will take time, but Ziouzenkova and her collaborators are enthusiastic about its potential, and the benefits it could offer to children and their parents.
"Childhood bipolar disorder can be very difficult to distinguish from other disorders, especially in youth with...