According to a study carried out by the NHS, 1 in 4 people in England will experience some form of mental illness each year. From mixed anxiety and depression to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), millions of people suffer from a variety of mental health conditions that can be difficult to treat.
Genes testing for mental health was introduced back in 2011 in the United States. In 2022, the testing came to the UK and is now offered by selected clinics, including here at the Wessex Private General Practice. Known as Pharmacogenetics testing, it helps to create personalised mental health treatments based upon each patient’s DNA.
Read on to discover more about Pharmacogenetics testing and its benefits in the treatment of mental health issues.
What is Pharmacogenetics Testing in mental health?
Pharmacogenetics testing aims to identify how genetics will impact a patient’s medication response. It can reveal how a person’s body metabolises and responds to various medications. This enables doctors to provide personalised treatments based upon each patient’s specific requirements.
The testing itself typically involves collecting a sample of your DNA. This could be a blood or a saliva sample. It is then analysed in a laboratory. The results will be used to influence treatment decisions. For example, choosing the most appropriate medication and dosage required based on your genetic profile.
Dr Charlie Middle provides various Pharmacogenetics tests, each provided by Myogenes, a renowned UK-based diagnostic company.
The benefits of Myogenes Pharmacogenetic testing
Myogenes Pharmacogenetic testing has significant benefits when treating patients with mental health disorders. The test will help to identify which medications are most likely to be effective. But also, it can also help to reduce the patient’s risk of experiencing side effects from the treatments they receive.
It could be that you have genetic variations which make you more likely to experience side effects from certain medications. Or, you may have specific genetic variations that make some medications less effective.
While medications can be an effective way of treating mental health conditions, they are known to cause a variety of nasty side effects. This can make them both unpleasant for patients to use, as well as potentially dangerous. With Pharmacogenetic testing, patients are less likely to experience negative side effects from the treatments they receive.
If patients do need to take medications that the test has revealed could pose a greater risk of side effects, they can also be provided with regular checks and scans. Importantly, this would help to detect and address any problems early on.
To learn more about genes testing for personalised mental health treatment, book an appointment with Dr Charlie Middle today.