Genetic Testing for Various Conditions
Approximately 350 million individuals globally grapple with major depressive disorder (MDD).1 The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this issue, with recent studies revealing a threefold rise in depression cases in the U.S. compared to pre-pandemic times.2 The pandemic’s multifaceted challenges—economic downturns, isolation due to lockdowns, and resulting mental health repercussions—have affected many. Yet, the surge in mental health issues predates COVID-19.
With an extensive array of psychiatric medications available, the journey to pinpoint the optimal treatment often feels overwhelming, even with a physician’s guidance. However, the advent of pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing offers a beacon of hope. ClarityX presents a PGx test tailored to decode one’s genetic predisposition, guiding the selection of mental health medications most suited to an individual’s genetic makeup.
Genetic Testing for Antidepressants & Psychiatric Medications
What is Pharmacogenetic (PGx) Testing?
Grasping genetics necessitates a foundational understanding of DNA. Envision DNA as a distinct code formed by the characters A, C, G, and T, which together craft its multitude of genes. Each combination of these characters provides the blueprint for genes to fabricate proteins within the organism.
Constructed from amino acids derived from the genes, proteins perform a myriad of bodily functions, including the metabolization of medicines via CYP450 enzymes. DNA testing and genetic testing, like pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing, scans an individual’s genetic landscape to discern any genetic alterations that might influence their body’s interaction with drugs.
Every person’s unique genetic code dictates the production of CYP450 enzymes, which play a pivotal role in activating or dispelling medications in the body. Unveiling these genetic nuances through genetic testing allows mental health professionals to tailor drug choices for optimal patient outcomes.
The embrace of PGx testing in the realm of DNA testing heralds a groundbreaking shift in healthcare, emphasizing precision medicine. This innovation edges healthcare professionals closer to a holistic treatment approach, reducing the guesswork in medication selection.
With PGx testing, a form of genetic testing, as an ally, clinicians can mitigate undesired drug reactions and adverse events. Moreover, it ensures efficient resource allocation by pinpointing the most fitting drug from the outset.
Generally, pharmacogenomic phenotyping in PGx testing can be categorized into five labels: Poor Metabolizer, Intermediate Metabolizer, Normal Metabolizer, Rapid Metabolizer, and Ultra-Rapid Metabolizer.
These labels serve as indicators of how the body might process medications. For instance, a diminished enzymatic activity could slow down the metabolism of certain drugs, like antidepressants, leading to prolonged presence in the system and potential side effects. Conversely, in cases of elevated enzymatic function, drugs might be processed too rapidly, rendering them ineffective therapeutically.