April 27, 2012 - Blood tests look promising in diagnosing depression. A preliminary study finds certain biological markers in the blood of teens with depression that are absent in healthy counterparts. The test examined a panel of 28 biological markers that circulate in the bloodstream and found that 11 of them could predict the presence of depression at accuracy levels that ranged from medium to large. These findings could lead to the first diagnostic testing for depression.
Also, experts say a new technique to treat early prostate cancer may have far fewer side effects than existing therapies. Standard treatment with surgery or radiotherapy involves treating the whole prostate gland, and can harm surrounding tissue, with a serious risk of side-effects, including urinary incontinence and impotence. A 41 patient study in the journal Lancet Oncology suggests targeted ultrasound treatment could reduce the risk of these side effects. Researchers say it could transform future treatment if the findings are repeated in larger studies. The Medical Research Council, which funded the study, welcomed the results, which it said were promising.
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