Emerging science has allowed us to develop a test designed to assist in the safe and appropriate selection of pharmacologic treatment for individuals who suffer from mental illness. Genomind® Professional PGx Express™ is a pharmacogenetic test designed to offer guidance to help minimize the trial and error process of finding a safe and effective medication at the appropriate dose.
The test identifies patient-specific genetic markers that affect how patients may react to medications and other treatments. It is an easily administered cheek swab test that analyzes up to 24 key genes. These genes were selected based on FDA prescribing information, consensus expert guidelines, and data derived from hundreds of studies showing that variations in these genes may inform treatment decisions.
The results are paired with 130 medications used in the treatment of mental health and brain disorders. The information provided by this report is designed to help healthcare providers make more informed treatment decisions, and to help avoid the trial and error of medication selection.
Pharmacogenetics or (PGx) is the effect genetics play in reactions to drugs. The study of PGx combines the science of pharmacology (how drugs work) and the science of genomics (the study of the human genome).
Your genetic makeup, or genotype, is your inherited DNA code. It serves as the blueprint of your body. This information, along with a clinical assessment of your current health and family history, compose the trifecta of information that doctors now use to drive individualized treatment decisions. This is at the heart of precision or personalized medicine.
Clinical genetic testing has long been used to determine health risk. Even though pharmacogenetics was first established in the 1950s, only recently has it begun to be used to tailor drug treatments for mental illness, certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS and other medical conditions.
In addition, a growing body of evidence has shown that pharmacogenetics is beneficial to those with mental health issues who have treatment-resistant depression or mood disorders, and that thoughtful use of such information can decrease healthcare utilization and save money.
Not everyone reacts to medications in the same way. Many people experience feelings of frustration if they don’t receive relief from the first-line treatments for their mental illness. More than 2/3 of patients with major depressive disorder do not receive complete relief from the first psychiatric medication that is prescribed, which may be in part because of their genetic makeup.
A person’s genotype can affect responses to certain drugs. It can also influence negative side effects or adverse drug reactions. Pharmacogenetic information may assist healthcare providers to narrow down which medications may be more or less likely to be efficacious or be well tolerated, and at what dose. This may reduce the trial and error that often happens with treatment as usual.
As new research becomes available, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to add pharmacogenomic biomarker labeling information. These genetic associations include warnings, precautions and concomitant drug use and dosage recommendations.
To help clinicians determine medication treatment, the Genomind pharmacogenetic testing process analyzes multiple well-characterized genes. Genomind Professional PGx Express focuses on two primary mechanisms.
Pharmacokinetic effects. Certain genetic enzymes control how quickly your body, specifically your liver, breaks down the medications you take. If your body metabolizes a drug quickly, you might not receive any benefits, or you may need a higher dose. If your body metabolizes a drug slowly, you might experience side effects or possible toxicity. If you are a slow metabolizer, you may need a lower dose or in some cases, may consider avoiding that drug altogether. Similarly, your genetic profile can impact how quickly or slowly you absorb certain drugs. It is this combination of absorption and metabolism that influence your overall exposure to a drug.
Pharmacodynamic effects. Certain genetic variants can be used to help predict the effect a particular drug will have on your body. Genomind Professional PGx Express analyzes 15 pharmacodynamic genes that, in conjunction with your symptoms, past treatment responses, family history and your individual treatment goals, can influence drug outcomes.
Pharmacogenetic testing can’t yet independently determine which specific medication you should take or how well other medications will work for you, but it offers personalized guidance to your health-care provider.
Genomind Professional PGx Express FULL Mental Health Report™ is intended to provide genetic information to healthcare professionals which may aid in the selection of appropriate medications for individuals with mental illness and other brain disorders. This 24 gene report is designed to be adjunctive to a complete patient assessment, including but not limited to proper diagnosis, clinical history, assessment of concomitant co-morbidities and medications, family history, and other factors. Additional information may be found by consulting the Prescribing Information of various FDA-approved medications, or other relevant resources such as the FDA’s Table of Pharmacogenomic Biomarkers in Drug Labeling.