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Clin Lab Med. 2010 Dec;30(4):931-74. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2010.07.004.

The promise and reality of pharmacogenetics in psychiatry.

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  • 1Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Hampton House, Room 857, 624 North Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. pzandi@jhsph.edu


Existing psychotropic medications for the treatment of mental illnesses, including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics, are clinically suboptimal. They are effective in only a subset of patients or produce partial responses, and they are often associated with debilitating side effects that discourage adherence. There is growing enthusiasm in the promise of pharmacogenetics to personalize the use of these treatments to maximize their efficacy and tolerability; however, there is still a long way to go before this promise becomes a reality. This article reviews the progress that has been made in research toward understanding how genetic factors influence psychotropic drug responses and the challenges that lie ahead in translating the research findings into clinical practices that yield tangible benefits for patients with mental illnesses.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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