November 15, 2005

Blood Test for Schizophrenia - Update

The following information is from a marketing/press release from a company working on a new blood test for diagnosis of schizophrenia. While we covered this story when they first published research on this blood test for schizophrenia - they have now published another paper that is positive; which is good news.

However we are very cautiously optimistic because we know that new products and tests such as what they are working on typically take many years to develop, refine, get FDA approval and to eventually be rolled out (if all goes well) for broad consumer use - and even after many years work, new biotech products frequently fail to live up to their early expectations. So - take this as a positive development - but one that still has a long way to go before any products based on these discoveries will likely be in clinical applications (if ever).

ChondroGene Limited - a company working with Harvard geneticists on a new blood test for schizophrenia, announced today that a paper entitled "Comparative gene expression analysis of blood and brain provides concurrent validation of SELENBP1 up-regulation in schizophrenia" has been published in the October 25th issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

The paper outlines a study that compared gene expression profiles observed in brain tissue of patients with schizophrenia and controls, and related these changes in the brain to gene expression changes observed using ChondroGene's Sentinel Principle in blood.

Gene expression profiles were obtained from post-mortem brain tissue samples of 19 confirmed schizophrenia subjects and 27 control samples. Gene expression profiles were also obtained from blood samples from a separate set of 30 schizophrenia patients and 24 control subjects. In the brain tissue study, 177 genes were differentially expressed between disease and control, while 123 genes were found to be differentially expressed in the blood group. There were 6 common genes that were differentially expressed in the tissue and blood groups. Based on the experimental results, the authors conclude that:

"The continued application of this approach in other brain regions and populations should facilitate the discovery of highly reliable and reproducible candidate risk genes and biomarkers for schizophrenia. The identification of valid peripheral biomarkers for schizophrenia may ultimately facilitate early identification, intervention, and prevention efforts as well."

Indications are that our approach will result in the development of blood-based biomarkers for the early detection and diagnosis of schizophrenia and other mental disorders," stated K. Wayne Marshall, President and CEO of ChondroGene. "With that in mind, we will continue to work with leading researchers in the field to further the understanding of this and other brain disorders.

Source: ChondroGene

ChondroGene is focused on the application of functional genomics to enable early diagnosis and personalized therapeutic intervention based on disease-specific biomarkers.


Hi my name is Trinity and my daughter has been diagnosed with what they are calling and treating her since of age 6 Psychosis NOS. She has very odd behaviors, such as hiding food in her bed room, she talks to people who are not even there. She has no emotions and very sucidal at times. We knew when she was 2yrs. somthing wasn't right with her, but when she tried to kill her baby brother we had her hospitalized and she was diagnosed with pshycosis with pshcotic & anti-social mood disorder. She also has Petimal sezures. I just named a few odd things that she does. She is 8 1/2 now and getting much worse. The meds. that they have her on is Abilify, Seriquel, and Limitical( for sezures). She has gotten much worse and It makes me worry for my other children. So my question is do we have to worry that she is developing Schizophrenia?

Posted by: Trinity Harmon at January 9, 2006 10:25 AM

The question of whether to worry that your daughter is developing schizophrenia or not is not easily answered, even having more information. The reason that the mental health field is reluctant to attach these types of diagnosis to children, or teens for that matter, is that people at these stages in their life are considerably less likely to remain constant in their state vs. adults who have been through their formative years and are increasingly likely to have a predictable pattern in their behaviors, emotions and thoughts. In other words children and teens are given a lot more room for change. Yes, it is good that you are preparing for what may come in the future, however, it is more important now to give the needed attention to immediate problems, i.e., she's getting worse and you fear for the other children. I didn't hear you say you fear for the safety of the other children, and if that were the case then a delay in getting further help could have horrendous consequences. If you are not getting the help you need through outpatient treatment, then perhaps you could discuss with your providers the possibility of extended treatment within an inpatient setting. God Bless.

Posted by: Bernie Puente, LCSW at January 21, 2006 12:26 PM

i am from india and i was diagnised with delusional disorder three years ago now i am using sulpiride 400mg is this the best medicine

Posted by: prasad at June 18, 2006 02:30 PM

Is there any test that can be given with out a shadow of a doubt that you have schizophrenia?

Posted by: keith at November 3, 2006 05:16 PM

Is there any possibility that
an illness could trigger
this disease? For example,
could a bout with cancer bring on underlying schizophrenia? Is there such a thing? My father was fine until he decided to have his prostate removed due to cancer. At first we thought it was normal post op depression, but that was 4 years ago. We've tried everything but his situation becomes more dire as the days pass, he will not leave
his house, he's delusional,
he no longer cares about personal hygiene, his hands shake uncontrolably, he seems annoyed by our presence,and for the most part appears catatonic.
He displays many characteristics of someone who is schizophrenic but
exhibited no signs prior to his surgery. HELP! I'm at the end of my rope, I've tried everything I can think of to help him and understand what is going on but to no avail, he refuses to seek treatment and I feel as though I'm nearly out of time. He was such a beautiful person and I can't just let him waste away. Can anyone offer any suggestions?

Posted by: Cori at January 25, 2007 11:07 PM

Onset of schizophrenia can occur late in life. It is much less common, especially in males, at a later age, but does happen. Do you have access to emergency psychiatric services if your GP can't help?

Posted by: Val Markham at August 1, 2007 07:12 PM

is there an alternative cure for schizophrenia, hearing voices, fear psychosis, depression, paranoia? -alternative medicine? or other healing methods?

Posted by: rose at January 13, 2008 12:12 AM

I think im at the prodrome phase of schizophrenia or something else. I have been ill since August. Im sick and tired feeling like this and waiting for something to happen and to be diagnosed. Noone knows whats wrong with me.It would help me a lot if you list me a non illegal medicine i can buy which can bring out the illness i have without side effects. answer me soon i will appreciate any answers

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