Blood test can detect signs of psychotic disorders years bef
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A simple blood test can predict who will suffer psychotic disorders later in life, scientists claim. Researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons University in Dublin took samples from more than 100 people deemed a high risk of developing the conditions. Using computer imaging and machine learning to look at hundreds of proteins in the blood, they were able to correctly tell who suffer them 93 percent of the time.

The experts were also able to identify who would definitely not develop psychosis in 80 per cent of cases. Many of the proteins linked to the conditions are also involved in inflammation, suggesting early changes in the immune system cause damage to the brain over time. Scientists behind the study said the findings were a huge leap in the quest to prevent psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. Researchers looked at 133 people in their late teens and 20s who were at risk of developing the conditions.

People are more likely to develop a psychotic disorder if they have a close family member who suffers from them. Children born with certain genetic mutations are also at risk. However, only 20 percent to 30 percent of these people will actually go on to develop a psychotic disorder. Participants provided a blood sample and were followed up several times over five years. A total of 49 participants (37 percent) went on to develop one of the conditions within the study period.

The scientists assessed hundreds of proteins in blood samples and used machine learning to look for patterns. They identified 10 key proteins - all linked to inflammation - that could predict who did and did not become unwell. It suggests that people who eventually suffer from psychosis experience the immune system changes fairly early in their life.

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