Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Future of personalized antidepressants

Another question from a visitor:

Advances in psychiatrist medications: Holsboer has recently elaborated on the future of personalized antidepressants designed using genotype and biomarkers. Where do you think psychiatry is headed, in terms of ideology, but also medications and treatments?

Here's the reference:

It's an interesting and important subject. In current practice, it can be hard to find medications or other types of therapy which are helpful. It would relieve a great deal of suffering much more quickly to have some way of determining, in advance, which particular treatment for psychiatric illnesses might help best.

Also, the article emphasizes the need to search for treatments outside of the current pharmacological paradigms; we probably have enough medication choices affecting serotonin uptake, etc. It will probably be important to search for pharmacological treatments which affect other systems in the brain.

I don't feel very well-informed about the cutting edge of this science (translating genetic research into pharmacological treatments), but I can see this being a huge advance in the coming decades.

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