The introduction of blood-based biomarkers for psychiatric disorders faces numerous challenges. The goal of research efforts is the improvement of the current more or less subjective diagnosis, treatment and patient management. So far attempts to introduce molecular analyses have faced considerable resistance. There is an urgent need for a paradigm shift so that peripheral markers may also deliver insights into pathological states of the brain. Health regulators have called for a reform of research and development approaches, with the goal to enhance the safety and efficiency of future antipsychotic drugs using biomarker-based methods. Here we discuss the potential of the biomarker sector in this context, as exemplified by the recent introduction of Veripsych TM, the first blood test aiding the diagnosis of schizophrenia.

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Fortschritte der Neurologie Psychiatrie
Department of Neuroscience

Gottschalk, P.T, Schwarz, E, & Bahn, S. (2013). Biomarker research in neuropsychiatry: Challenges and potential. Fortschritte der Neurologie Psychiatrie (Vol. 81, pp. 243–249). doi:10.1055/s-0033-1335235