Liquid Biopsy for the Mind2023-04-01

After Freud's exploration within the psyche it is now the outer world of reality which must be quantified.

—J.G. Ballard

Self-reporting of feelings and thoughts, especially if they are quantified and tracked over time, can be very useful to improve people’s lives, as well as clinically, to help diagnose and treat. That is how mental health disorders, and pain, are currently handled, not only in primary care settings but also in specialized settings. We have built an app, Life x Mind, that does that well, but that is an incremental advance.

The game-changing advance is to have molecular insights into mental health, and pain. It took us two decades of extremely hard work, but we are there. You cannot biopsy the brain for mental health conditions, or peripheral nerves for certain pain conditions, so we have developed a liquid biopsy approach, similar to cancer, and in fact using similar technology next-generation sequencing. This can easily fit into primary care settings, as just another blood test, and provide patients and clinicians with some objective information on disease severity and future risk, as well as personalized guidance on nutraceuticals and medications that best match the patient’s biology. We are working hard to make these tests more widely available and accessible, and iterate fast to 2.0 (in some cases 3.0) versions as our databases grow.

Despite being some of the most prevalent conditions that affect people’s quality (and quantity) of life, mental health disorders, and pain, have lagged behind other areas of medicine in terms of diagnosis and treatment. That does not need to be the case anymore. The app, which is a “digital biopsy”, and the blood tests (“liquid biopsy”) work well together, and provide clinicians a data-enhanced ability to diagnose, treat and prevent.

Live. Happier. Longer.