Personalised medicine

Pharmacogenomic testing is a breakthrough technique in psychiatric treatment. According to the studies, approximately 38% of patients suffering from depression will not respond to the initial treatment. Most psychiatric medication takes 4 – 6 weeks to take effect and therefore finding the right medication is difficult and takes time.
In recent years, we have gained an ability to improve the accuracy of psychiatric treatment by testing patients’ DNA.

In the last decade, we have learnt that we all have variations in the structure of our DNA which even includes identical twins. This is called Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP). It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with us but that we are all different.

Until now the choice of psychiatric medication has been based on statistical research. It is understood that these particular medications help the majority of people with certain disorders, however up to 38% of patients do not respond to this treatment. The answer is simple; they have Single Nucleotide Polymorphism and the receptor for the medication is built slightly differently and therefore does not allow the medication to bind.

This problem has now been resolved and we are able to tell if certain medication will be able to bind to their receptors or not.
The method does not give a 100% guarantee as there are changes that happen during our development, but it definitely increases the chances that the medication chosen will work.

Dr Danilewicz is an expert panel member of Myogenes a company which delivers pharmacogenomic testing in the UK.
If you wish to learn more, please visit MYOGENES website or contact us directly.

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