Blood-based Diagnostic Test for Anxiety


A blood-based biomarker test for the diagnosis of anxiety disorders.

Key Benefits

  • Gene panel of at least seven biomarkers that may predict anxiety in humans.
  • Minimally invasive blood test.
  • May identify different forms of anxiety leading to personalized treatment and improved clinical outcomes.

Market Summary

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness and fall under a number of classifications, including but not limited to separation anxiety and selective mutism, phobias, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. The WHO ranks anxiety as the ninth most health-related cause of disability. Treatment of anxiety disorders generally comprises psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy; however, diagnosing the condition is challenging. Evidence suggests that the rates of misdiagnosis of anxiety are high due to many confounding variables and comorbid conditions. There is an unmet need to develop screening and monitoring tools to treat the disease as early as possible.

Technical Summary

Researchers at Emory and the University of Wisconsin have developed a diagnostic test for anxiety based on a nonhuman primate model of anxious temperament (AT) that exhibits the structural and functional similarities in humans, such as increased freezing, decreased vocalizations, and increased cortisol levels. Using the model, the inventors used whole genome bisulfite sequencing to examine about 25.3 million CpG dinucleotides in genomic DNA from the hippocampus of 71 monkeys. The analysis identified 645 differentially methylated regions associated with AT. About seven genes were found to overlap with humans and may be viable biomarkers. The inventors plan to use the identified genes to develop a blood-based assay to detect different forms of anxiety.

Patent Information

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
Utility (parent) United States 16/898,897 11,542,548 6/11/2020 1/3/2023 Issued
Tech ID: 19114
Published: 2/8/2023