I’ve often marveled at the human tendency to believe somehow that, at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, there will be some sudden and fundamental shift in the fabric of the universe. What I mean by that is – our hope and belief that the New Year will somehow foster an instantaneous commitment to a particular resolution, a radical sea change in our national political dialogue, and a pronounced end to the COVID-19 pandemic. An imminent solution to anxious depression has afflicted many of us at some point during the past two years.
As we navigate into 2022, it’s easy to see how much “magical thinking” can be deflating and frustrating. As the nation settles into the doldrums of day to day life, it’s striking to see how this realization manifests in our patients’ redoubling of depressive and anxious symptoms. It has long made me wonder if there isn’t something more we could be doing to help our patients become psychologically “unstuck” when their current treatment fails to move them toward true remission and recovery. Perhaps there is no better time to direct renewed attention toward the promise of precision medicine in mental healthcare?!
At the cornerstone of this idea is the science of pharmacogenomics, defined as the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. In this sense, precision medicine combines pharmacology (the study of medication) and genomics (the analysis of genes and their functions) to help prescribers make more personalized medication choices. These include which drugs to prescribe to different individuals and what doses will have the best effects.
Join me at an SBHPP conference in 2022 to learn more about precision medicine for mental healthcare. Our discussion integrates concepts of neurobiology and neuropathology with genetics and genomics to produce new models for personalized diagnosis treatments for commonly recurring mental health problems. In addition, I’ll present the results of the GUIDED study to highlight the efficacy of this approach.
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Grover S, et al. (2014). Pharmacogene Genomics.
Hall-Flavin DK, et al. (2012). Translational Psychiatry. 2(10): e172.
Hall-Flavin DK, et al. (2013). Pharmacogenetic Genomics. 23(10):535-48.