Does Suicide Risk Show Up in the Blood?

Newly identified serum biomarkers have the potential to flag patients, via blood testing, with major depressive disorder (MDD) at high risk of suicide. Investigators found patients with MDD who died by suicide had a gene expression signature in blood distinct from patients with MDDwho died by other means. The signature included genes involved in stress … Read more

Depression Biomarkers: Which Ones Matter Most?

Multiple biomarkers of depression involved in several brain circuits are altered in patients with unipolar depression. The first comprehensive meta-analysis of all biomarkers quantified to date in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of individuals with unipolar depression showed that several could be “clinically meaningful” because they suggest neuroimmunological alterations, disturbances in the blood–brain-barrier, hyperactivity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal … Read more

More Evidence COVID ‘Brain Fog’ Is Biologically Based

Patients with persistent cognitive impairment months after illness with mild COVID-19 have higher levels of inflammatory markers in their cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Researchers found elevated levels of CSF immune activation and immunovascular markers in individuals with cognitive post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC). Patients whose cognitive symptoms developed during the acute phase of COVID-19 had … Read more

Juvenile Fibromyalgia Is Associated With Brain Changes

Juvenile fibromyalgia is associated with reduced volume in one region of the brain, according to a recent study. The findings were similar to those in patients with adult fibromyalgia, which suggest the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. The study was published online January 25 in Arthritis and Rheumatology. Adolescent Brain Development Juvenile fibromyalgia is … Read more

‘Pandemic Brain’ Not Limited to Patients Infected With COVID-19

The stress of living through a pandemic may cause brain inflammation even in those uninfected with SARS-CoV-2, a new study suggests. Healthy individuals who tested negative for the virus that causes COVID-19 had elevated levels of inflammatory markers known to be involved in depression, stress, and mental fatigue. The study indicates a possible link between … Read more

Depression and Dry Eye Correlation Probed

Symptoms of dry eye correlated with depression in one of the largest studies to examine the relationship. Clinicians should take the relationship into consideration when treating either condition, said Gui-shuang Ying, PhD, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “I would say that if the patient sees a doctor for dry … Read more

First ‘Before-and-After’ COVID Brain Imaging Study Shows Changes

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Even mild cases of COVID-19 are associated with brain changes including decreased gray matter, an overall reduction in brain volume, and cognitive decline, a new imaging study shows. In the first study to use magnetic resonance brain imaging, before and after … Read more

Markers in Saliva Tied to Gut Disorders in Children With Autism

Dr David Q. Beversdorf Researchers have identified markers in saliva that are differentially expressed in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who have gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances. These findings mark the beginning of an understanding of the biological differences separating kids with ASD with, and without, GI disturbances, study investigator David Q. Beversdorf, MD, professor of … Read more

CSF Inflammatory Markers Tied to Brain Alterations in SARS-CoV-2

The study covered in this summary was published in medRxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed. Key Takeaway Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) inflammatory marker levels were found to be associated with changes in gray matter volume and cortical thickness in the frontal, orbitofrontal, and temporal regions in hospitalized patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 … Read more

Promising Disease Markers in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

The study covered in this summary was published on medRxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed. Key Takeaways Seven nerve excitability indices distinguish patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) from healthy controls. Four indices may be biomarkers of early stage ALS. Why This Matters There is no diagnostic test for ALS, … Read more