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Cambridge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Research


Video explaining the Dried Blood Spot protein analysis in the Bahn Lab


The goal of the Bahn lab and its partner company PsyOmics Ltd is to develop a combined digital and blood biomarker test to enable early diagnosis and subsequent treatment of depression and bipolar disorder, which will lead to better patient outcomes. 

In a previous study, the Spot Depression Beta Study, the Bahn lab was able to recruit over 1000 study participants. The Beta Study was a feasibility study with the goal to identify signs of depression and bipolar disorder by measuring changes of certain molecules (biomarkers) that can be detected in dried blood spots. The blood results were combined with results obtained through an online questionnaire assessing current and past symptoms as well as personal and lifestyle factors. Analysis of the findings from the Beta Study yielded very encouraging results.

Following on from the results of the Beta Study, we will now conduct a more extensive validation study, the Delta Trial.

For the Delta Trial, we have now developed an extensive digital questionnaire which follows the diagnostic approach used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses. The questionnaire entails 6 individual question and answer sessions which last approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Study participants can also opt in to provide self-collected dried blood spots and participate in a clinical telephone interview (the so-called CIDI structured clinical interview, which was developed by the World Health Organization).

Participants of the Delta trial will receive a personalized report and psychoeducation, which we hope will be helpful. We also ask for permission to re-contact participants 6 and 12 months after the study to fill in a brief feedback questionnaire, which is very important in terms of the development of a future diagnostic test.

In mid-April 2018, we will start to recruit participants to the Delta Trial.


 Blood spot