“The level of proof is not sufficient”, judges the psychiatrist

The test is available on medical prescription from April 1. It costs around 900 euros and is not reimbursed by social security.


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Bipolar disorder (picture).  (via Samil Bingol / Digital Vision Vectors / Getty)

The first blood test to diagnose bipolar disorder was put on the market in France on Monday April 1, reports France Culture. Called MyEDIT-B, this test is available on medical prescription. It costs around 900 euros and is not reimbursed by social security. Marketed by Alcediag Laboratory, it helps avoid diagnostic errors, especially between bipolar and depression, whose symptoms are similar. According to the professional association, Positive Minders, more than 40% of people diagnosed with depression in France actually suffer from bipolar disorder.

The test has been presented as a big step forward, but some health professionals, notably the French Association of Biological Psychiatry and Neuropsychopharmacology, have some reservations. They fear that the study of this test is not thorough enough, as Boris Chaumet, a psychiatrist and researcher at INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research), who decides that the marketing of this test is still premature: “The level of evidence is not sufficient. There was one study that was published directly by the company that markets it (but) there has been no large-scale replication yet.”

Average delay in diagnosis is 10 years

The researcher explains that there is “Many studies that show results that may be false positives” And to ensure that this test is valid, “It must be replicated in independent cohorts. This has not been done for the moment and therefore we cannot recommend it”. For Boris Chaumet, “We put the cart a little before the horse”.

“We market something without being absolutely sure of its reliability and we ask patients to pay.”

Boris Chaumet, Psychiatrist and Inserm researcher

At France Culture

Apart from this the psychiatrist emphasizes that “Sensitivity and Specificity of the Test”, either “A chance to diagnose the right people and not go overboard”, is located “About 80%”, According to the study, the figure is similar to conventional diagnostic techniques carried out in psychiatric departments. “If we look at what is done using the clinical scale – so we ask patients questions – we have almost the same success rate. So we do not clearly see how this test will help in additional diagnosis “, It turns out. According to the Fundamental Association, between 650,000 and 1,600,000 people in France suffer from bipolar disorder and are diagnosed with an average delay of 10 years.

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