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Genetic Testing Improves Outcomes for Patients With Depression

May 07, 2018

NEW YORK CITY—Using combinatorial pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing to guide medication selection for patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder vastly improved rates of response and remission, researchers reported at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting.

“Achieving response and remission are fundamental goals of treating patients with mental illness,” wrote John Francis Greden, MD, of the University of Michigan, and colleagues in a poster abstract presented May 7.

“Results from this large-scale, randomized controlled trial demonstrate the clinically significant utility of this combinatorial PGx test in improving short- and long-term response and remission rates in depressed adults compared to clinicians’ usual approaches to medication selection.”

The Profound Potential of Genetic Testing to Transform Psychiatry

genetic testing posterThe double-blind trial randomized 1167 outpatients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder to either PGx-guided treatment or treatment as usual. Patients were evaluated at weeks 0, 4, 8, 12, and 24 using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D).

After 8 weeks of treatment, 26% of patients in the PGx-guided treatment group achieved response (defined as a 50% drop in HAM-D score from baseline) and 15% of patients achieved remission (defined as a HAM-D score under 7). In the treatment-as-usual group, 20% of patients achieved response and 10% achieved remission.

Symptom reduction, response, and remission rates continued to improve in the PGx-guided treatment group through the trial endpoint at 24 weeks, the study team reported.

—Jolynn Tumolo


“Combinatorial pharmacogenomics significantly improves response and remission for major depressive disorder: a double-blind, randomized control trial.” Abstract presented at: the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting; May 7, 2018; New York, NY.

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