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PHARMACOGENETIC

TESTING

Pharmacogenetic testing can be performed for certain psychiatric medications in order to determine a more effective or tolerable choice for treatment.

The vast majority of pharmacogenetic testing is performed and implemented with antidepressants. Many individuals who are prescribed antidepressants do not respond to their first choice of medication, and this may lead to impediments to recover. It is often the case that a trial-and-error process takes place before a person responds to psychiatric medications. This can be problematic because of the time that elapses before recovery, as well as exposing a person to potential adverse side effects from psychiatric medications that have no benefit to them.

 

Some patients do not respond to treatment, and genetic researchers believe that there may be a genetic reason for their non-response. Often if an antidepressant is tolerated and improves symptoms for a family member, it will have a higher chance of success on a patient. Since each person has a unique way that they metabolize psychotropic drugs, exploring a pharmacogenetic approach to narrowing down which antidepressant is the better choice to begin treatment.

Dr. Arnold Pallay Interview

Dr. Arnold Pallay received his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine and has been in private and academic practice for more than 30 years. He practices family medicine and genetics in Montville, New Jersey and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the Northeast. Dr. Pallay is the Founder and currently is Associate Medical Director of the Genomics Program at Atlantic Health System, has advanced training in genetics and genomics and is a frequent lecturer locally and nationally to both physicians and the lay public. Dr. Pallay is an appointed member of the Commission on Education of the American Academy of Family Physicians and is a teaching clinical faculty member at a number of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania medical schools including Rutgers, Seton Hall, Thomas Jefferson and Tauro Medical Schools. His practice participates in genetic research, including serving in a 13-site national genetics consortium studying children with genetic disorders that was sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has been involved in research protocols to determine if precise genetics testing can alter the care received by medical and mental health patients by choosing to use or avoid certain medications in larger population cohorts.   

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