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Using molecular signaling profile in white blood cells measured by highly-sensitive mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics in the differential diagnosis between major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar spectrum disorder (BD) are severely debilitating mental disorders both characterized by an elaborate depressive symptomatology. In clinical reality, patients with either unipolar or bipolar depression often present with identical symptoms, resulting in a profile of clinically observable symptomatology that in itself remains insufficient for reliable and objective distinction and consequent correct treatment of both forms of depression. Numerous attempts have been made to use single, specific biomarkers to objectively differentiate between MDD and BD, until now without success. Therefore, using large scale biomedical data, such as quantitative proteomics, to extract relevant biomarker sets associated with specific psychiatric illnesses has recently been put forward to fill the current objective diagnosis deficiency. In the current project, we will establish whether proteomic analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) can serve as a highly specific diagnostic tool to discriminate patients with unipolar versus bipolar depressive disorder.The project will be a collaboration between Collaborative Antwerp Psychiatric Research Institute (CAPRI, faculty of medicine, University of Antwerp) and the VIB Department of Molecular Genetics (VIB DMG, University of Antwerp). CAPRI will tend to the clinical study arm by recruiting suitable study subjects and procuring patient samples, while proteome analysis will be performed at VIB DMG. Currently the optimal MS platform for in-depth quantitative proteomics, in terms of accuracy and reliability of protein identification is the ThermoScientific Tribrid Fusion Orbitrap MS system. The laboratory of Prof. Maudsley (VIB DMG) possesses the only current Tribrid Fusion MS in Belgium to date.
Date:1 Apr 2017 →  31 Mar 2018
Disciplines:Psychiatry and psychotherapy, Nursing, Other paramedical sciences, Clinical and counseling psychology, Other psychology and cognitive sciences