World-first test charts link between brain proteins and mood disorders

Across the world, millions of people suffer from mood disorders. These include depression and bipolar disorder. Right now, treatments for these disorders range from antidepressant medication to lifestyle changes or alternative therapies.

Mood Disorders

Researchers have now developed a ground-breaking test that accurately predicts the emergence of these disorders, by charting the presence of certain brain proteins.

In addition to a clinical assessment by a doctor, the test could ultimately support assessments to diagnose depression and bi-polar disorder.

The test analyses levels of the protein ‘brain-derived neurotrophic factor’ (BDNF). The BDNF protein has three forms, two of which bind to receptors in the brain and cause inflammation and degeneration of the nerves. In fact, the good protein mBDNF and the bad protein proBDNF work in opposition to each other.

The world-leading test developed by researchers from the University of South Australia, University of Adelaide and China’s Kunming Medical University gives the ability to differentiate between the good and bad proteins, for the first time.

Where the levels of the good protein are low and bad proteins are high, mood disorders manifest.. The lower the level of the good protein mBDNF, the more severe the disorder.

It is hoped the results of the test can be used not only to diagnose depression and bipolar disorder, but also to lead to new treatments that help re-balance good and bad proteins in the brain.

To better understand the benefits of this new test, continue reading at