Institute for Response-Genetics
- Medical Technology/Devices/Equipment
About one in every eight women can expect to develop clinical depression during their lifetime, while prevalences in males are only slightly less. Schizophrenia and bipolar illness each affects about one percent of the general population, causing the loss of the ability to work, to have close relationships, and to have a fulfilling life. Available treatments, though effective, are incomplete and there is no cure for a considerable proportion of patients.
Psychiatrists' Daily Efforts
Current psychotropic drugs have been designed to treat the ''average'' patient. Yet empirical data suggest that this ''average patient'' is rarely encountered in real life. Thus, it is impossible today to make any prior predictions of whether or not a particular patient will respond to a particular treatment. Multivariate pharmacogenetic approaches to psychotropic drug response will enable psychiatrists to select treatments on the basis of objective laboratory methods, thus leading to individually optimized therapies along with reduced side effects.
Our research addresses the extent to which genetic vulnerability and resilience factors along with their interactions constitute multigenic inheritance of psychiatric disorders across ethnicities, thus implicating universal targets for treatment. The development of objective laboratory methods will enable a highly individualized treatment regimen, so that an unnecessarily long treatment duration or an unnecessary exposure to ineffective drugs and unwanted side effects can be avoided.