Researchers develop new tool to identify youths at high risk of depression

A team of researchers has extended their efforts to identify a predictive tool that helps to identify young people who are likely to experience high or low depressive disorder when they reach around the age of eighteen. Despite the prevalence of depression, little has been done to identify the causes, symptoms, solutions for the condition while predictive tools have already been developed for psychosis and many physical health conditions. Family history and subthreshold symptoms which do not reach the criteria for depression are the two current methods for accessing the risk of depression. For the study, researchers used data from over 2,000 Brazilian adolescents. With the help of this data, the team developed a tool that can help identify which young people will go on to experience a major depressive disorder when they reach 18 years. Not just identifying the tool, the study also evaluated the performance of the tool in samples of adolescents from New Zealand and the UK. It demonstrated the differences in its ability to predict depression across these countries and highlighting the need to consider local variations when developing predictive tools. Using the data, the researchers developed the tool to assess the risk of development of a major depressive disorder. After identifying the tool to access depression, the predictive ability was too conducted whose score was not as strong in the UK and New Zealand samples.