New York Psychiatrist

Personalized Genetic TestingNew York, NY

Personalized genetic testing has made its way to the mainstream. The tests have been made popular by services that offer DNA results which give a person information about their ancestry. Before all the hype, genetic testing was used to screen for many kinds of illnesses and conditions. The screening is an important way to diagnose or even preempt diseases.

A number of mental health issues are hereditary, so it makes sense to use genetic testing to identify a (potential) cause of certain mental health issues.

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About personalized genetic testing

Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, with each chromosome holding two strands of DNA. The DNA segments in some chromosomes contain the code for basics like hair color, eye color or the shape of the lips. Some chromosomes contain DNA sequences that render a person more predisposed to specific illness or condition.

For a long time now, medical professionals have used genetic testing to identify such DNA sequences or genetic markers. By identifying certain markers, medical professionals can take proactive or reactive measures to prevent or treat certain diseases.

Personalized genetic testing can do the same thing for some mental health disorders.

How it helps to predict a patient's response to treatment

There is a common pattern when it comes to treating mental health issues with medication. A doctor puts the patient on medication and maybe it works completely, a little or not at all. Or maybe the patient reacts badly to the medication.

When the medication does not work well, then it is back to the drawing board. The doctor adjusts the medication and monitors the patient.

With this approach, all the doctor has to go on is a follow-up exam and the patient's feedback. The doctor will have to keep tweaking the medication until it works just right.

But what if the doctor could know exactly what medication would work for their patient without all of the trials and adjustments?

That is where personalized genetic testing comes in.

Personalized genetic testing and targeted medication

A doctor can come up with a treatment plan with medication that works specifically for an individual. No more one-size-fits-all prescriptions. Here is how this can be achieved:

  • The doctor takes a sample from their patient, often by swabbing their cheek
  • Using the patient's sample, the doctor identifies genetic markers that shed light on how well the patient will metabolize and otherwise react to certain kinds of medication
  • With the test results, the doctor creates a customized treatment plan tailored to accommodate the patient's genetic tolerances and/or intolerances to certain types of medications

  • Because the doctor uses the patient's genetic information to create the perfect medication regime, the resulting treatment plan has an extremely high chance of working well.

    With personalized genetic testing, we can get it right in one try

    When it comes to prescribing medication for patients with mental health issues, the era of trial and error is coming to an end. At Eileen Wachter, MD , we can prescribe medication that is suited to your unique genetic markers. Visit our New York office today to find out more about genetic testing and mental health.