Mental Illness Treatment

A genetic test can help avoid medication failures and side effects. 

According with the Overview of Drug Safety in the US on June 8, 2005 by National Academies Institute of Medicine:chip

  • There are 100,000 fatalities each year from adverse drug reactions and a huge number of hospitalizations

  • Cost of drug side effects reaches billions

  • Current drug therapy is fundamentally a trial and error process 

FDA's critical path initiative in drug safety includes:

  • Use of genomic or other tools to identify those at high risk for side effects 

  • Use of genomic or other tools to identify the subgroups with high probability of positive drug response (targeted therapy)

    In a study of patients who discontinued treatment with a common antipsychotic in a state hospital, 9% were genetically tested as poor metabolizers of the drug, 38% were taking medications which inhibit the drug metabolism and the rest of 53% had side effects due to unknown reasons.

de Leon J et al, 2006, Mol Diag Ther in press

Psychiatrists can use a FDA approved genetic test to identify individual differences in response to medications for depression, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. MCG psychiatrists and laboratory scientists offer this cutting edge FDA approved technology for genetic testing. This simple blood test can help detect how people metabolize drugs commonly prescribed by psychiatrists.

How can this help in my own treatment?

  • Knowing the way people metabolize drugs will help physicians chose the right dose and the right medication for each patient (personalized prescription)

The article by Tom Corwin, "Patients' gene tests help tailor treatment," is available to registered* users on the Augusta Chronicle website: