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Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2006 Jan;15(1):289-302.

Target-symptom psychopharmacology: between the forest and the trees.

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Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Yawkey 6926, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114-3139, USA.


Psychopharmacology practice seeks to fit specific treatments to specific disease processes. Although categorical diagnoses have improved focus on observable symptom constellations, these approximately 300 categories have limited benefits for illuminating underlying disease pathophysiology. Existing medications do not couple well to the symptom constellations of given disorders. Rather, current medications ameliorate symptoms overlapping among various disorders. Harnessing technology to identify a patient's wider symptom constellation, prioritizing and targeting symptoms across disorders, considering symptoms more dimensionally instead of "present or not," and eliciting factors necessary to improve adherence may allow medication selections to be tailored better to individual patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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