A Blood Test for Schizophrenia with 83% Accuracy?

Philip Hickey, PhD
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An NBC online News article dated October 15, 2010, carried the noteworthy title New blood test may help detect schizophreniaThanks to Francesca for the link.

The article was written by Natasha Allen, a freelance medical journalist.  The gist of the article is that there is a new blood test called VeriPsych which “researchers say” is 83% accurate in discriminating people who are “schizophrenic” from people who are not.

One of the researchers – Michael Spain, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Rules-Based Medicine, is quoted as saying:

“There is a certain amount of denial when a child is diagnosed with schizophrenia. You wish that your child did not have that…It is a good test to convince parents or even the patient to stay on medication, as opposed to just subjective opinion.” [Emphasis added]

The article also points out that Rules-Based Medicine is the company that makes the test and funded the study.

The study itself is published in Biomarker Insights, a peer-reviewed journal that began publishing in 2006 and is owned by Libertas Academia.  The study appeared in the May 2010 issue and is called Validation of a Blood-Based Laboratory Test to Aid in the Confirmation of a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia. There are 24 authors.  The lead author is Emanuel Schwarz of the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, UK.  The Institute of Biotechnology had reportedly served as consultants to Rules-Based Medicine.  Five other authors, including Sabine Bahn, MD, PhD, MRCPsych, have links to the Institute.

An additional four authors, including Dr. Spain, report links to Rules-Based Medicine Inc.

Another author reports links to Psynova Neurotech Ltd., Cambridge, UK (a subsidiary of Rules-Based Medicine).  And another reports links to the Stanley Medical Research Institute, Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Here’s the study’s abstract:

“We describe the validation of a serum-based test developed by Rules-Based Medicine which can be used to help confirm the diagnosis of schizophrenia. In preliminary studies using multiplex immunoassay profiling technology, we identified a disease signature comprised of 51 analytes which could distinguish schizophrenia (n = 250) from control (n = 230) subjects. In the next stage, these analytes were developed as a refined 51-plex immunoassay panel for validation using a large independent cohort of schizophrenia (n = 577) and control (n = 229) subjects. The resulting test yielded an overall sensitivity of 83% and specificity of 83% with a receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (ROC-AUC) of 89%. These 51 immunoassays and the associated decision rule delivered a sensitive and specific prediction for the presence of schizophrenia in patients compared to matched healthy controls.”

Which means that if you perform these 51 tests on a person’s blood and collate the results using VeriPsych’s algorithm, the result will predict schizophrenia with 83% accuracy.

In the conclusions section of the article it states:

“In this multicenter study, we discovered and validated a biomarker panel for schizophrenia based on biological and technical reproducibility of the molecular signature.”

“High classification performance demonstrated that the decision rule could identify schizophrenia patients with high accuracy irrespective of the disease duration or treatment state.”

“In summary, the present findings demonstrate the applicability of a rapid and non-invasive test to confirm the presence of schizophrenia.”

And their work is not finished!

“We anticipate that the 51-plex assay panel will result in the future development of a differential diagnostic test that can distinguish among various neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder.”

Under “Acknowledgement,” the authors tell us that the study was “instigated and supported” by:

  • Rules-Based Medicine
  • Psynova Neurotech Ltd
  • Stanley Medical Research Institute 

The authors express their thanks to various colleagues who assisted in the research.  And they singled out for special thanks “…Dr. Fuller Torrey for his support and suggestions.”

Promotion and Publicity

After the research article was published, the information about VeriPsych was picked up by the following media sources:

October 6 2010, a site called MPR put up a sort of ad that reads “VeriPsych schizophrenia diagnostic aid available,” and gives a number to call RBM for more info.

A site called Fast Company put up an article called Veripsych Says It Can Spot Depression, Schizophrenia In Blood on their site, no date given.

Singularity Hub put up an article Blood Tests to Diagnose Schizophrenia, Other Brain Disorders on the Horizon, by Jeremy Ford on Jan 18, 2011.

On October 13, 2010, livescience put up Natasha Allen’s article under the title It’s in the Blood: New Hope for Detecting Schizophrenia.  Here Ms. Allen is listed as a MyHealthNewsDaily Contributor.

Mental Healthy (UK) site ran an article Blood Test to diagnose schizophrenia and depression by Catherine Walker (probably in 2011), after Dr. Sabine made a presentation at the 2011 APA annual conference.

Psychiatric Times ran the headline Blood Tests for Diagnosis of Schizophrenia and Depression? on August 10, 2011

But three months later, on November 8, 2011, they also put up an article called Blood Tests for Diagnosis of Schizophrenia and Depression: Not Ready for Prime Time.

On October 28, 2012, Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable put out an article An afternoon with Prof. Sabine Bahn: Bridging prognosis, diagnosis and treatment.

Bipolar burble (a blog) did a post on this on April 18, 2011.  But the author of the blog put this at the end:

“This is a money-grab taking advantage of desperate mentally ill people.

I actually find this ‘diagnostic aid’ blood test for schizophrenia to be bordering on unethical. VeriPsych can cover their ass with math and statistics and probabilities and legal-eze and I’m sure that makes it ‘OK,’ but if you ask me, they are a hair’s breath away from lying. It feels irresponsible to me to hand out these kinds of results about a very serious illness based on one study. One. And there is so much math needed to make this model work that I would fall down dead if there wasn’t a mistake in there somewhere. Nobody gets it right the first time.”

So we have a blood test for schizophrenia!  The Holy Grail – at last.  Schizophrenia, the darling “diagnosis” of psychiatry, can now take its rightful place in the halls of medicine, soon to be followed by bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder.  And disgruntled, misanthropic naysayers, such as myself, can slink cringingly into our narrow beds of shame and ignominy.

But Wait! There’s a Glitch!

On January 2, 2013, the following notice appeared on VeriPsych’s website.  (VeriPsych is the name of the blood test, but it is also the name of the company that marketed the test and is affiliated with Rules-Based Medicine, which apparently is now called Myriad Rules-Based Medicine.)

“Thank you for visiting the VeriPsych website and for your interest in VeriPsych, the first blood-based diagnostic aid for schizophrenia.

 We have temporarily suspended offering the VeriPsych test in an effort to improve its utility. In 2010, we conducted a beta launch confirming that the test worked as intended; however, in close collaboration with our medical and scientific partners, we collectively determined that the product needed further refinement to better fit the needs of patients and healthcare providers. Accordingly, we have shifted our focus onto the development of new transformative molecular diagnostic tools that address bi-polar disorder and major depression, in addition to schizophrenia. We are extremely excited by the progress made in bringing these diagnostic products to physicians and, most importantly, to the patients that can benefit from them. Unfortunately, there is currently no timeline for the availability of these new products in the United States or any other markets.

If you would like to receive information about our next generation of tests and their availability, please enter your email below. We will use this email distribution to release updates and news about the development of these new tests.

Thank You.”

Note the phrases:

  • in an effort to improve its utility
  • the product needed further refinement
  • there is currently no timeline for the availability of these new products 

History of the Financial Aspects

2005

Psynova Neurotech, established in 2005 by Sabine Bahn and Chris Lowe, PhD, Director of Cambridge University’s Institute of Biotechnology

2008

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rules-Based Medicine, Inc. (RBM), the leading multiplexed biomarker testing laboratory, announced today that it is partnering with Psynova Neurotech to co-develop and commercialize a blood test for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. RBM and Psynova will focus on the unmet clinical need for an objective and reliable diagnostic test to accelerate and optimize the treatment of schizophrenia. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will collaborate on the validation, regulatory approval and manufacture of a diagnostic blood test for schizophrenia that will be sold worldwide exclusively by RBM.

2010

May, 2010 Schwarz et al article published in Biomarker Insights journal 

2011

Professor Sabine Bahn, MD, PhD, MRCPsych, Director of the Cambridge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Research (CCNR) and Director/Cofounder of Psynova Neurotech Ltd, presented her research at the APA annual conference in Hawaii (May 14-18)

April 27, 2011 Myriad Genetics announced that it was going to acquire RBM and set up a subsidiary known as Myriad RBM, running it from RBM’s existing premises in Austin

June 23, 2011 According to Business Weekly, Myriad Genetics completed the $80 million cash acquisition of the PsyNova + Rules-Based Medicine company.

August 10, 2011 Michael Spain, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Myriad RBP is quoted in Psychiatric Times as saying that “…psychiatrists in a variety of treatment settings have ordered the test for hundreds of psychiatric patients,” at a cost of $2,500 per test, and that “…numerous insurance carriers…” were paying for it.

January 2, 2013

VeriPsych suspends the test.

So what happened?  What went wrong?  Within psychiatric circles, a valid blood test for the condition known as schizophrenia would be the media equivalent of aliens landing in Times Square.

Unfortunately, everybody concerned, including Fuller Torrey and the Stanley Medical Research Institute are keeping their heads down.  The timing of the sale of PsyNova for $80 million seems significant.  That is an awful lot of money for something that “needs further refinement” and for which no marketing date is available.

Crunching Numbers

I have no inside information as to what went wrong on this study, but here’s a little analogy that might go some way to explaining the matter.

Suppose my wife and I decide to rent out the upstairs of our house, but we particularly don’t want tenants who play loud music.  So we decide to develop a test that will enable us to distinguish these individuals from people who play their music quietly.  We live in a small village, and we decide to conduct our research here.

There are 100 houses in our village, and for simplicity’s sake let’s say that there’s one person living in each house and we have 10 items of information on each person.

So we walk around the entire village every day for, say, a month.  We carry a decibel meter and we take noise measurements at each house.  At the end of a month, we average the daily readings from each premises and then we begin bumping this data against the ten items that we know about each occupant.

Let’s say that one of these items is age, and we find a correlation between age and noise.  The older the occupant is, the lower the decibel number.  But the correlation isn’t all that good.  There are some noisy old folks, and some quiet young people.  So we arbitrarily decide that we’re going to use , say, 20% of a person’s age, as a negative factor on the noise predictor scale.

Another item of information that we have is whether each individual is right or left-handed, and we notice that the left-handed people are far noisier than those who are right-handed.  So we give being left-handed a 60% weighting.  People who are left-handed will get 0.6 (60% of 1) added to their noise-prediction score.  Right-handed people get 0.  And so on for the rest of the information.

Then we add up each person’s scores on the noise prediction scale, and if we’re lucky, all the high scorers will be noisemakers and all the low scorers will be quiet people, and voila, we have a simple way to predict if a prospective tenant will be noisy or quiet.  The string of fractions (60% left-handed – 20% age + … etc) is called an algorithm.

In actual research, however, results are seldom that clear cut.  It is more likely that we will have a scale that discriminates with less than perfect accuracy – say 60%.  So we start to “tweak” the weightings that we assigned to each item of information.  Instead of 60% for left-handedness, perhaps it would be better it if were 65%.  Or perhaps the age score should be weighted at 27%, and so on.  Doing this by hand would be tedious and time-consuming, but with computers one can bump any combination of weightings against the criterion measure with little difficulty.  And in this way, we find the combination of fractions that gives us the most predictive algorithm.

The authors of the study started with 181 blood tests, from which they identified 51 tests that had some correlation with the “schizophrenia” group.  They then ran these 51 tests on 806 participants (577 schizophrenia; 229 controls), and from this data they developed an algorithm that separated the schizophrenia participants from the controls with an 83% accuracy rate.  They report that “…all elements of the data set were used to train the algorithm.”

“Training” the algorithm is what I’ve called tweaking in the example above.  But there’s a problem.  By tweaking the data so thoroughly, what I’ve actually produced is a noise algorithm that may work reasonably well for our village at this point in time.  It might not work in the next village or even in our village next year.  (It may be, for instance, that the high correlation that we found between noisiness and left-handedness is a complete fluke that has no validity outside our village.)  This is particularly pertinent in that noisiness is not some kind of inherent trait like left-handedness or tallness.  Rather it’s a behavior, and behaviors are acquired (or not acquired) through a complex and highly individualized process of interaction between a person and his environment.  Two people who are inherently very different might both score high on a measure of noise, while identical twins might score at opposite ends of the scale.

The general point is that if one is working with a discrete set of data and a fairly large number of variables, it’s usually possible to construct an algorithm that will separate the individuals with a reasonable degree of accuracy along a given criterion.  In other words, if one can tweak the algorithm more or less indefinitely, and add, or drop, variables at will, a pattern will eventually emerge.  The pattern is not necessarily spurious.  It may be a real pattern, but it only applies to the individuals concerned.  I don’t know if this is what happened in the Schwarz et al study, but it might be something along those lines.  All concerned are staying fairly quiet about it.  So perhaps we’ll never know.

Validity and Reliability of the Schizophrenia Label

Another critical issue in this matter is the nature of the criterion variable and the accuracy with which it can be measured.  In my hypothetical noise study, I have a fairly objective measure (decibels).  But it’s not perfect, because, firstly, I’m taking only one measurement per day, and secondly, I’m taking measurements from the street, and, for this reason, houses that are built closer to the street will, other things being equal, score higher than houses that are set further back.  In the case of the condition known as schizophrenia, the situation is hopelessly confounded because all the DSM items that define the condition are vaguely-defined behaviors, the assessment of which is inevitably subjective.  In other words, if you choose, say, 1,000 people at random and ask 20 psychiatrists to examine all of them and identify and list those who “have schizophrenia,” you will get 20 different lists.  (There will be some overlap, of course, but you will not get perfect concordance.)  So an algorithm that’s been trained on the basis of one of these lists may not work very well on another.

In this regard, there are two interesting quotes from Emily Deans, MD, a Psychiatry Department instructor at Harvard, in the second Psychiatric Times article mentioned earlier.

“Since the diagnoses are based on a recipe list of symptoms from DSM-IV and not known brain pathology, new biologic markers and tests are re-searched and validated against the formal diagnostic criteria.  These criteria are designed to be assessed by mere observation and questioning of the patient.  Thus, biomarkers only end up as valid as the original criteria, or less so, depending on the validation of the scale used in research…” [Emphasis added]

and

“…biomarkers based on DSM-IV will never be as useful as ground up research to link known brain, gene, and MRS findings to the patient’s symptoms.”

What Dr. Deans is saying here, in effect, is that schizophrenia, as defined by DSM (which is the only way it can be defined) will never be linked reliably to specific neural pathology.  This is something that we “mental illness deniers” have been saying for decades.  Psychiatrists, on the other hand, have been saying, with a level of confidence bordering on recklessness, that schizophrenia (as defined by DSM) is a brain illness, and they even claimed to have identified the neural deficit involved (the now discredited dopamine theory of schizophrenia.).

But it should not be concluded that Dr. Deans or psychiatrists generally are retreating from the bio-psychiatric perspective.  Rather, psychiatry’s position is shifting from the “schizophrenia-is-a-brain-illness” stance of former years to “schizophrenia-is-many-brain-illnesses” which is becoming the rallying cry of the present.  And they’re going to identify each one through ground-up molecular research any decade now.  Meanwhile, by some extraordinary coincidence, neuroleptic drugs are the appropriate “medication” to correct all of these illnesses.  What a stroke of luck!

Stop Press

I was about to publish this post last week, when I ran one last Internet check on VeriPsych to see if there were any updates.  To my surprise, I found a promotional video which was published on YouTube on February 11, 2014.  The video is titled New Blood Test for Schizophrenia.  Here’s a quote from the narrator:

“Researchers…at the University of Cambridge have been working on a blood test for schizophrenia for many years.  A first test was launched in 2010, but later withdrawn from the market, as the price tag of around 2000 Euros was too expensive for wide usage.”

So VeriPsych was withdrawn because it was too expensive.  The earlier announcement on the VeriPsych website (that is still there at the time of this writing) said that it needed “further refinement” in order to “improve its utility.”  So does it need refinement or a price cut?

Another quote:

“They have now developed a new version, which they claim is cheaper, and provides more detailed information for the diagnosis.  The test looks at certain proteins in blood samples of patients to distinguish between different kinds of mental illnesses.  Researchers say that the new test is able to diagnose schizophrenia with a certainty of 83%, and depression with a certainty of about 90%.  Although the test could never stand on its own, it provides doctors and patients with valuable backup information.”

 But the test isn’t quite ready for market yet.

“Sabine Bahn and her colleagues want to launch the new test within this year.”

The video is professionally produced and will probably catch some attention, but there are too many unanswered questions.  Firstly, why was the test pulled if, as reported, it had been selling well and its cost was being reimbursed by insurance companies?  Secondly, if it just needed a price cut, couldn’t this have been done more or less instantly rather than being off the market for 13 months?  Thirdly, is this the same test with the 51 “disease signature” analytes that was described in the original study?  If so, then where did the additional information concerning depression screening with 90% accuracy come from?  If not, has the new test been written up in a peer-reviewed journal?  Fourthly, – and most importantly – what prompted the January 2013 statement that the test “needed further refinement,” if the 2010 beta test had confirmed that “the test worked as intended”?

To me, it just seems like we have too many questions.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Um, I think I have a test for “schizophrenia” which is 100% accurate.
    Has that person been to see a psychiatrist?
    This will be yes 100% of the time, I think.
    Thus, psychiatry as a cause for schizophrenia is more reliable than:
    1) genetics
    2) chemical imbalance (unless caused by psychiatric medications)
    3) trauma (unless caused by psychiatry)
    4) poverty (unless caused by psychiatry)
    5) social oppression (unless caused by psychiatry)

    Well, I’ve heard that psychiatric drugs can effect genes in future generations, so genetic problems might be caused by psychiatry as well.

    The only problem here is that in a country where there is no psychiatry (in indigenous cultures for example); there isn’t a correlation with psychiatry and schizophrenia.

    So, if Exxon corporation would be given the privilege of determining who is schizophrenic without it being “psychiatric” they could put all indigenous populations in an asylum, pollute their water and land as much as the want (something necessary for a productive economy); and we’d have a true source for “schizophrenia” not caused by “psychiatry.”

    And this hunt for communism started by McCarthy years back could turn into a hunt for “schizophrenia.” All backed by medical science.

  2. If schizophrenia were a well defined condition no complex medical test would be needed. It is presumably not something so obscure as to require a blood test–or is it? And what is schizophrenia? If a physical disease then some remedy could be derived. If not then the test would be like rapid heart beat for anxiety or panic. Skeptical.

    • AgniYoga,

      Schizophrenia is a loose collection of vaguely defined behaviors/
      thoughts/feelings that psychiatrists have spuriously and self-servingly labeled as an illness in order to legitimize the neurotoxic drugs that they prescript for its “treatment.”

      I believe that you are right to be skeptical.

      • My experience, as someone who was healthy, other than I was suffering from the common ADRs and withdrawal symptoms of a bad drug cocktail of Voltaren, Ultram (given due to a “bad fix” on a broken bone), and Wellbutrin (given for smoking cessation, not depression). Who had these ADRs and withdrawal symptoms misdiagnosed as “bipolar” and was forced onto neuroleptics. Is that Risperdal can CAUSE a terrifying psychosis within two weeks. And the subsequent drug cocktails of many psychotropic drugs CAUSE evil and incessant “voices.” Thankfully, the “voices” go away when taken off the drugs.

        But not one doctor I dealt with back then could comprend that the neuroleptics could cause psychosis and “voices.” Yet I have subsequently found medical journal articles stating that neuroleptics have been known to cause psychosis as far back as 1964.

        Psychiatrists are either evil, or incredibly stupid. Personally, I think they spent the past 60 years writing a “bible” of stigmatizations describing the ADRs and withdrawal symptoms of their toxic drugs. And I think we could cure the world of almost all “bipolar” and “schizophrenia” if we banned the use of the psychiatric (and illicit) mind altering drugs.

        Isn’t the point of medical care supposed to be about helping the patients, not profiting off making people sick?

        • No, my friend. The pseudoscience drug racket of psychiatry exists solely to make money, and act as a means of social control. THEIR whole point is to make people sick, then profit off providing the “medications” which at best don’t help, and thus sell MORE drugs, which STILL don’t help, and only make people sicker…. I know, I know, but think about it: Where did Hitler, and Stalin, and Chairman Mao come from? As evil as these 3 “leaders” were, they couldn’t have gotten into power without the help and support of many, many more people…. There ARE evil people in the world, and they are over-represented in the medical fields…. They are NOT like you & I, my friend.
          (I’m very glad to see you’re still posting here. I only found MIA in mid-2015….

  3. A test for schizophrenia? Who can define schizophrenia in the first place? However, Abram Hoffer found an accurate indicator common to the majority of individuals already diagnosed and hospitalized with a diagnosis of chronic schizophrenia. Hoffer’s findings were later duplicated by another schizophrenia researcher, David Horrobin.

    Hoffer found that those individuals diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia will not exhibit a skin flush from a dose of niacin high enough to produce a strong flush in individuals without such a diagnosis. This test is simple, benign and costs only a few pennies and takes only a few minutes. Unfortunately, there is no money in this for Big Pharma, at least until they control the entire diet and supplement supply.

  4. “psychiatry’s position is shifting from the “schizophrenia-is-a-brain-illness” stance of former years to “schizophrenia-is-many-brain-illnesses” which is becoming the rallying cry of the present. And they’re going to identify each one through ground-up molecular research any decade now. Meanwhile, by some extraordinary coincidence, neuroleptic drugs are the appropriate “medication” to correct all of these illnesses. What a stroke of luck!”

    Thanks for the laugh, Dr. Hickey.

  5. You have to remember that [many or most] psychiatrists actually believe that they are fixing up society. This is also where all of their anger is directed, that’s how they see things (that people have emotional problems they shouldn’t and which need to be eradicated) and that things are the way they are because people aren’t being controlled by them, being that they know the way to fix things. In comes the yet-to-be-proven-but-we-haven’t-got-there-yet biological illness model/myth. This was the same with the invaders of an indigenous area who thought that the natives were savages.

    To me it all comes from the separation we make between good and bad and how this excuses a trauma based discipline which says you are allowed to humiliate, attack, intimidate, punish and hate the “bad” person or people. And when you are trying to heal trauma (which I think is what the issue is) this doesn’t help to invest in more trauma based discipline, because that is the problem to begin with. And it becomes a means to an end on all sides, each side excusing their hatred by means of it. It’s why people believe so much in good and bad that they attach to mythologies about a chemical imbalance, and think they are saviors of the world when adhering to whatever idea that involves something being made out to be the bad thing to attack. It’s also why people make out that the evil is psychiatry rather than how they are trying to make change, and invest in the very method on whose foundation psychiatry maintains its controls.

    When you move away from this you come to a whole other area of reality that isn’t required to adhere to the control tactics of trauma based discipline and it’s illusion of safety. And to a mind which can’t let go of the allure of fitting into the trauma based model of control, this seems crazy. And yet this is where compassion, where the taoist idea of non-attachment, where forgiveness, and where creativity and art come in. And miracles, evolution growth and enlightenment.

  6. Thank you so much for the article, again very informative and research/data based.

    …”Rather it’s a behavior, and behaviors are acquired (or not acquired) through a complex and highly individualized process of interaction between a person and his environment. ”

    …”In the case of the condition known as schizophrenia, the situation is hopelessly confounded because all the DSM items that define the condition are vaguely-defined behaviors, the assessment of which is inevitably subjective.”

    …”These criteria are designed to be assessed by mere observation and questioning of the patient. Thus, biomarkers only end up as valid as the original criteria,….”

    Again,
    Thanks!

  7. My experience is that whether inpatient or out, when there’s a “team” surrounding a patient here in the US, the psychiatrist insists that he/she is THE most important, the most central part of the team if the patient has a present or even past psychiatric diagnosis. Even if the patient’s most pressing issue is a heart attack, the psychiatrist insists that he/she is the central controller. Just as the heart attack patient is ready to go home with a clean bill of health, the psychiatrist insists, “Wait, he isn’t STABLE!” and pronounces our unfortunate fellow with his new ticker “paranoid.” The psychiatrist now insists that the patient is forced onto an antipsychotic deconate that will ruin his new heart before he goes home. Our patient is further traumatized on a locked psych ward, where he suffers another heart attack. Why do psychiatrists insist on putting their fingers where they don’t belong? Seek and ye shall find….Now, all they’ll need will be one false blood test! Julie (and her little dog named Puzzle)

  8. It’s good to know that someone is digging into the claims of companies such as VeriPsych (great name) and challenging the science, data, and exposing conflicts of interest. A serologic test with 83% prediction accuracy for schizophrenia is surely an attention grabber even if it’s bogus. Which number fudging techniques, of the many available, did they use to achieve their desired outcome?
    Glad to have run into this website. Thanks

  9. I was bounced from a Toronto paper tonight to this Globe and Mail video (not sure if it’ll post). It sounds like they are now going with Myriad Genetics on this also saying, well, it’s not accurate on it’s but it’ll help!

    This video is very much like direct to consumer advertising IMO. ‘Since being diagnosed (of course via blood test) has returned to work and living a normal life”. Get your blood tested, be diagnosed and poof magic! The general public is already so misinformed, this does not help.

    “Simple blood tests could revolutionize schizophrenia diagnosis”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/life-video/simple-blood-tests-could-revolutionise-schizophrenia-diagnosis/article17430402/#video0id17430402

  10. I just looked at this again, and at first had to laugh a bit.

    One would seem that another analogy of how these “results” were obtained of 83% runs along the lines of the old story about a bunch of gorillas and type writers (NO insult to gorillas, intended at all). That if you gave them type writers and allowed them to bang on the keys long enough, you would get all of Shakespeare’s plays; because it’s in the probability theory extended to infinity. And this proves gorillas actually wrote Shakespeare’s plays rather than Shakespeare, the Earle of whoever of Mr. Bacon. This ALMOST approaches how the results are tweaked.

    Then, I had another thought, a harrowing thought. Since schizophrenia diagnosis depends totally on a “psychiatrist” and not only has no clear objective basis based on diagnosis of behavior, being that this is discrepant (not only based on time, but on who is doing the diagnosis), but it also has no biological marker.

    But

    Well….

    So it would depend on finding the gene for imagination, or abstract thought that doesn’t have {or ignore} flaws in logic excused by “consensual reality basis,” or “statistical based norms,” being that both such “concepts” define reality or appropriate behavior on consensus or on statistics of belief rather than objective evaluation and thus find the statistical norms to be scientifically validated, without proof. Stated simpler, if the gaps in “consensual reality deportment” or “statistical based norms,” disturb or confuse a person, and they would need support to see that their minds are on the right track, this then is “schizophrenic” for those who deny that they need such support, or that they need to simply be left alone.

    “consensual reality deportment” is a term Sandra Steingard brought up
    “statistical based norm,” is a term used by the APA trying to address the hunger strike demanding proof of a chemical basis for mental illness that mind freedom had in 2003. They said that a person’s inability to adapt to statistical based norms made their “survival” difficult. This proves they have a “mental illness.” It was pointed out that that’s a sociological concept (not proof of a mental illness), and also defines people that are minorities, live in poverty or a war zone or who suffer other kinds of oppression and/or discrimination.

    How does one deal with this?
    How does one deal with people whose “consensual reality based deportment” is based on not only one particular environment where this is “consensual,” but is not at all consistent in moving to another environment, which has different consensual concepts. In fact, this basically is an analogous to maintaining differences in cultures, and stating that such differences are necessary, despite whether they have any function for survival beyond such behavior not fitting into the culture being punished. And before long you have different cultures disagreeing with each other, and you have wars, and anyone of a different culture than what is the dominant culture is a minority; and it’s not too far a stretch to see that wars cause poverty rather than there’s agreement that leads to harmony and a productive society. And this “reality deportment” is based on a group of people deciding how a person should behave to not be ostracized in the “group” or found “crazy” rather than on what the group is accomplishing (with their consensual reality deportment) or whether they are in fact completely unaware of what’s going on, or in denial etc..

    One simply can point out that this (this “survival” based on reality deportment statistics from consensually based norms) already occurs with medications. You just have to study what Mr. Whitaker reports to see that “consensual reality deportment” and “statistical based norms” are that medications treat mental illness, and bring healing: However, in reality, when a person is articulate in how they observe what’s going on, this isn’t the case at all. So, a further “logical” continuation of that “survival” depends on following “statistical based norms” is that you just take these pills, despite the fact that statistically the data within the consensual reality deportment correlate with things getting worse, and that this IS the norm in scientific observation (except maybe short term if you’re lucky) and………

    who’s profiting?

    and does this make them happy?

    If they are happy why do they keep on ignoring reality?

    And are these profits, or are they an excuse OTHER people make of getting it wrong again!?

    I mean it just isn’t….

    It isn’t perspective when there’s a retreat into an area where there’s yet another consensual reality deportment which finds others abnormal while saying: “we have the right to be able to wield what you’re using to oppress us.”

  11. Thank you, Dr. Hickey, for the comprehensive history of this blood test. However you forgot to mention that the 51-biomarker blood test is part of the European Union research project called SchizDX Project, led by Sabine Bahn at the Cambridge Neuropsychiatric Research Center in UK. The European Commission ordered the development a low-cost blood test with accurate biomarkers for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, and granted an amount of 2,757,688 euros to SchizDX. Readers may find answers to their questions at:
    http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/news/telltale-blood-schizophrenics

    Being from Canada, I tend to have faith in a government-sponsored blood test for neuropsychiatric disorders. It can only help patients and doctors.

    • I just have to ask, if you really mean that. Do you in fact, “have faith in a gov’t-sponsored blood test for neuropsychiatric disorders”, or are you being sarcastic? I assert that there can never be a legitimate blood test for what is at best a subjective, imaginary “disease”. So-called “mental illnesses” are CONCEPTS. There’s NO “biomarker”, because they have no biology. They are only subjective, never objective.
      RSVP?_______________________?

  12. i thought this was a good idea because im pretty sure, if i would have been given that test, i would have tested negative for schizophrenia and those shrinks could never have ruined my life the way that they did. there were tests run with people pretending to have schizophrenia who were misdiagnosed and the other way around. so a blood test might clear this up finally.

    i just have doubts that the test was created the wrong way. how would you develop a test for a disease that does not even exist in the first place. i am sure they were testing with people who were very likely misdiagnosed in the first place.