Aug 12, 2021

Role of GeneSight® Test in Mental Health

Reviewing Your Gene Therapy for better, more efficient Mental Health Medication Therapy

Role of GeneSight® Test in Mental Health

We all have come across some psychiatric conditions at any point of time in life. All of us may have heard about genetic testing used to find the cause of various diseases; genetic testing customized to your unique mental or emotional health issue is something you may haven’t heard much about from your doctor. You might have wondered how GeneSight®testing plays a significant role in mental health. However, let’s make it clear what this test is?

GeneSight® is a test that analyzes how the gene (basic physical and functional unit of heredity) affects the outcome of the medications taken for a psychiatric mental health condition. The test examines your DNA for clinically significant genetic variants. The results can help your doctor predict how you’ll react to specific medications used to treat depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other psychiatric conditions.

If you doubt whether medications are the best option for treating your mental health issue, clarify with the test. Mindful Care offers an experienced psychiatric team to customize your medications with GeneSight® testing. The test provides our office a way to guide treatment for antidepressants or any other mental health medication. Keep reading to get a clearer insight on the method, advantages, and accuracy of GeneSight®testing.

Why Do a GeneSight® Test?

Our genes determine some of our susceptibility to mental health conditions like anxiety and depression and treatment responses. However, in the general population, no single gene or a small number of genes determine much of either. Furthermore, the few genes employed in today’s commercial test panels do not appear to be the key genes determining the risk or response of the drug. Drug metabolism (breakdown of drugs) is linked to a few of the genes studied. These genes can influence drug concentrations in the blood, but they don’t always predict clinical response. Age, food, hormonal state, gut bacteria, and any other medications taken concurrently are considerably more critical determinants in determining how a person breaks down essential medicine and responds to treatment. Most individuals with depression benefit from a thorough assessment of all of these criteria, as well as expert-recommended antidepressant selection and administration, as well as follow-up care to track medication progress and handle any side effects.

How Long Does GeneSight® Testing Take?

The test is simple to use and takes about five minutes to complete. A simple cheek swab is taken to capture your DNA. Then the sample is sent to the clinical lab for analysis. The lab delivers the test result to your doctor within a week. Steps involved in the testing are:

  1. Your doctor collects a DNA sample by swabbing the inside of your cheek painlessly, or you can take the sample at home using our patient collection kit.
  2. For analysis, the sample is delivered to the lab.
  3. Your doctor will generally receive test results two days after the lab receives your sample.
  4. For a consultation, your doctor can contact the medical affairs team.

What are the Advantages of Testing?

Set of advantages of pharmacogenomic testing are mentioned below

  • Provides precise genetic information to aid with mental health improvement.
  • Identifies which drugs and supplements are most likely to be beneficial for you.
  • It aids in the prediction and prevention of adverse effects and drug-drug interactions.
  • Based on how your body metabolizes specific medications, it gives you individualized dose advice.
  • Allows your doctor to more precisely target pharmacological therapies, eliminating the need for trial and error.
  • It refines the likelihood of a successful treatment outcome.

GeneSight® Test in Patient Care

Thousands of genes were passed down to you from your parents. Genes control your physical features, such as eye color and blood type—the way some genes determine your body processes drugs. GeneSight® testing looks for changes or mutations in these genes that could indicate whether a medicine is a successful treatment for you or whether you are at risk for side effects.

One method that can assist your doctor in determining the optimum drug for you is GeneSight® testing. When concluding on the best treatment for you, your doctor considers your age, lifestyle, any medications you’re taking, and overall health.

Type Of GeneSight® Testing

  • Psychotropic GeneSight® Test – The Psychotropic GeneSight® Test examines your body’s reaction to medications prescribed for psychiatric conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc.
  • MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) Test – The MTHFR test assesses the amount and utilization of folic acid in your body.
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Test – The ADHD test examines your body’s reaction to medications used to treat ADHD.
  • Analgesic test – The analgesic test assesses your body’s reaction to pain relievers. Based on your DNA, it determines which prescription pain medications, such as opioids, NSAIDs, and muscle relaxants, work best for you.

How Accurate is the Test?

The accuracy of GeneSight® testing can be categorized based on four broad categories, namely.

  • Analytical Validity – It defines the test’s ability to produce accurate results. The GeneSight® Psychotropic test has a 99.8% accuracy rate. The analytical validity has been approved and regulated by the College Of American Pathologists (CAP), Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments(CLIA), the New York State Department of Health.
  • Clinical Validity – It assesses a test’s ability to predict patient outcomes. Five studies have proved the clinical validity of this test. Those prescribed red category medications experience more minor improvement in depression symptoms than patients assigned green or yellow category medications, according to a meta-analysis of three studies evaluating the psychotropic test.
  • Clinical Utility – The clinical utility assesses whether a test has a positive impact on clinical outcomes. The \test is clinically helpful in seven investigations. Those who underwent the examination had a 50% relative increase in remission rates and a 30% relative rise in response rates at week eight compared to patients who received standard care. 6 The test has been found to help healthcare providers make better decisions by reducing uncertainty and increasing confidence.
  • Economic Utility – It assesses the total cost-benefit of applying technology to the healthcare system. According to one study, patients taking drugs in the red category unintentionally had higher healthcare visits, medical absence days, and disability claims, according to a study, with an average annual increase in healthcare use cost of $5,188. (Compared to patients unknowingly taking medications in their green or yellow categories). According to another study, patients who had the GeneSight® test saved $1,035 per year on drugs, compared to those who received standard care.

What Do the Results Mean?

If you were tested before beginning therapy, the results could indicate whether medicine is likely to be helpful and whether you are at risk for significant adverse effects. Some tests, such as those for epilepsy and HIV medications, can reveal whether you’re at risk for life-threatening side effects. In this case, your physician will try to discover an alternative treatment. Tests performed before and during therapy can assist your doctor in determining the appropriate dose.


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