Q. I’ve dealt with depression all my life and I’m worried that my young children may be affected. Is there a test they can take to find out whether they’re at risk?
Answer By: Myrna Weissman, Ph.D.
Diane Goldman Kemper Family Professor of Epidemiology (in Psychiatry)
Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University
I know of no tests that are better than a good clinical evaluation. While the odds are increased that your children may have depression if there is a family history, many family members often do not develop this mental illness. Scientists are looking for biomarkers in their extensive ongoing research using diagnostic tools like MRI, EEG, and genetic studies.