An estimated 10-20% of adolescents struggle with mental health conditions, with the majority remaining undiagnosed and untreated. New, early indicators of mental health problems are urgently needed, as they could revolutionize early detection and, in the future, the prevention of mental health problems in young individuals.
In the study carried out in the research group of Professor Katja Kanninen, the researchers used self-reported Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) scores to evaluate mental health risk in participants aged between 11 and 16 years. Blood sample analyses showed that 58 proteins were significantly associated with the SDQ score. Bioinformatic analyses were used to identify the biological processes and pathways linked with the identified plasma protein biomarker candidates.