Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. This relatively new field combines pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) to develop effective, safe medications and doses that will be tailored to a person’s genetic makeup.
Many patients suffer from psychiatric disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, OCD and ADHD. Unfortunately, not every treatment works for everyone. Because of the differences in age, lifestyle, health history, and genetics, one medication may work for one individual but not for another. Because of this, treatment for common conditions often results in a high rate of failure or adverse side effects.
Historically, the only way to test a medication was to try it and wait to see its response. This is still an accepted standard of care. This approach can sometimes be frustrating and difficult while waiting for a positive response or having to go through multiple trials of medication. Today, there are more than 30 FDA approved medications used in Psychiatry. Any tool that helps a clinician to minimize side effects and maximize positive response is extremely valuable. One such tool is Pharmacogenomics, a new approach towards Personalized Medicine.
A New Movement Towards Personalized Medicine
Personalized medicine is geared towards customization of healthcare needs for an individual patient. One area where we are already seeing change is choosing medication based on genetic make-up and experts call this area of science as Pharmacogenomics. Through Pharmacogenomics, experts can identify clues to how you will respond to a medication even before you try it by just analyzing your DNA.
Genetic Testing in Psychiatry
A simple genetic testing in psychiatry allows us to choose medication and help us to understand how well you would respond to the medication. The most common genetic test is a cytochrome P450 gene test (CYP450). This is a very simple and painless test which requires only a blood sample or cheek swab or saliva sample. This simple test helps us determine how your body processes a drug, and how a specific medication may affect you. This helps to avoid unwanted side effects while improving effectiveness of medication. By checking your DNA for certain gene variations, this test can also provide clues as to why previous medications have not been effective.
Adroita Center for Clinical Psychiatric Neuroscience has the knowledge and the tools to help you understand the role of genetic testing in psychiatry for your health needs. Based on the test results, we can help you to customize an effective treatment plan as well as provide a clear and practical road map that can take you towards your health goals.