Part I of this series defined biomarkers and discussed their current use in general medicine and their potential research and clinical utility in psychiatry. In this second column in the series, the authors first discuss the rationale for selecting a biomarker. The second half of the column discusses the potential use of inflammatory biomarkers in depression, with a specific focus on derivatives of the inflammatory biomarker, thromboxane, to illustrate how biomarkers can be developed for use in clinical practice. In the future, biomarkers are likely to become an integral component of psychiatric treatment, providing information about a patient’s odds of developing an illness, the severity of illness, and level of response to therapeutic interventions. (Journal of Psychiatric Practice 2012;18:281–286)
*Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, and KU-Wichita Clinical Trials Unit. Dr. Preskorn maintains a website at http://www.preskorn.com where readers can access previous columns and other publications.
†Laureate Institute for Brain Research and Department of Psychiatry, Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, Tulsa.
Disclosure statement: Dr. Macaluso has conducted clinical trial research as principal investigator funded by Abbott, Envivo, Evotec, Janssen, Lilly, Naurex, Pfizer/Wyeth, Takeda, and Targacept. Dr. Drevets has served as a consultant for Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Eisai, and Myriad/Rules Based Medicine. Dr. Preskorn, during a career of over 30 years in clinical psychopharmacology, has worked with over 85 pharmaceutical companies in the United States and throughout the world. Over the past year, Dr. Preskorn has received grants/research support from and/or has served as a consultant, advisory board member, and/or speaker for the following: Abbott, Biovail, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cyberonics, Dey Pharma, Eisai, Johnson & Johnson, Lundbeck, Merck, National Institute of Mental Health, Naurex, Orexigen, Pierre Fabre, Pfizer, Stanley Medical Research Institute, Sunovion, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.