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Pharmacogenetics

In conjunction with Dr. Steven Hamilton, we are studying the pharmacogenetic profiles of individuals who are either extremely sensitive to medication side effects or who do not respond as expected to psychiatric medications. We are studying variations in over 30 genes that are involved in metabolizing psychiatric and other drugs.  Individuals vary in their ability to metabolize, or process, medications, with some genetic variations causing extremely slow metabolism, and some causing extremely fast metabolism.  This study is aimed at examining whether having pharmacogenetic data that details these variations has an impact on clinician’s decision making with regard to medication prescribing.  To date, approximately 100 individuals have participated in the study. Although the main results are pending, early results suggest that genetic information about likely treatment response can help clinicians make more informed decisions about what medications are most useful for their patients.