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Aurora magazine

The antidepressant chooses the genetic test

A large number of studies prove the usefulness of genetic tests in the fight against tumors and other diseases. A study by Dr. Forester could also introduce them into psychiatry. The doctor has in fact developed a genetic test that helps to choose the best antidepressant for each patient. The test examines dozens of genes involved in drug metabolism and predicts possible brain responses.

According to the study, the genetic test would be able to predict the effects of more than 50 antidepressants and antipsychotics. Based on these results it would be easier to understand which drugs to avoid and on which to bet. In this way you avoid avoiding the patient from an antidepressant to the other, with negative consequences also for the health.

For the time being, the test is still being tested in 60 US hospitals. Among the 1,167 patients involved in the trial, half took the genetic test and half did not. The results seem to be positive. The test allowed us to choose more effective drugs, with 30% more positive answers than those in the control group. However, the application of genetic tests to psychiatry has dark sides.

The brain is a complex organ. A single genetic test can help, but for now it can not be the definitive answer. Furthermore, it places the physician in front of a series of possible choices. It is up to him and his experience to understand which one is best for the patient. However, that of Dr. Forester remains an important step for precision psychiatry.