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Gene test can help recommend best psychiatric medications for patients

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Psychiatrists can use a simple genetic test to determine which psychoactive medications will be most easily metabolized by their patients.  And a third clinical study has confirmed that this test has a positive effect on treatment outcome.

The Pine Rest study, published in Discovery Medicine, showed that when psychiatrists have their patients use Genesight, those in the group whose treatment is guided by the technology showed a greater than two-fold response and remission rate.  

Genesight only requires swabbing the inside of the cheeks and sending the swab into a central lab. Basically, the test segments medications into “green” (use as directed), “yellow” (use with caution) or “red” (use with increased caution) categories, depending on the way a patient’s unique genomic makeup will interact with psychiatric medicines.

Psychiatrists who used Genesight in the study were twice as likely to switch medications or adjust dosages of medications.  In fact, 100 percent of clinicians using Genesight made such changes, whereas only 50 percent of clinicians without the guidance did so.

The results of the Pine Rest study are similar to those of the La Crosse Study, published in July 2013 in Pharmacogenetics and Genomics.  In that study of 227 participants, the Genesight-guided group experienced a more than two-fold improvement in symptoms and likelihood to achieve remission.

Given the repeated success of Genesight in these trials, I now use it frequently to help tailor medication treatment for patients.  I suggest that you speak with your psychiatrist about it, as well.

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team. Dr. Ablow can be reached at info@keithablow.com.