Pharmacogenomic testing and Consult
Pharmacogenomic testing, otherwise known as PGx, refers to a type of genetic test by cheek swab to predict a patient’s likelihood to experience an adverse event or not respond to a given drug.
Genetic variation in metabolism may result in high concentrations of drugs and an increased risk of adverse effects in slow metabolizers, which is important when using, for example, antidepressants or pain medication.
The demand for pharmacogenomic testing is only expected to increase as researchers discover the potential of personalized medicine and the possibility of new drug development.
Currently, the FDA includes black box, pharmacogenomic warnings on the labels of more than 200 medications. A one-time cheek swab test lets providers know whether a patient has specific genetic variants to alert the provider of what drugs to avoid and prescribe to the patient.
Just as there are known drug-drug interactions, there are also known drug-gene interactions. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how a person’s genes affect their response to specific medications.
Why We Test
If you’ve ever decided to “get healthy” or “do the right things” for your health – cutting down on carbs, eliminating gluten and dairy, taking probiotics, exercising – only to end up worse-off in three months than you were before you started, you’re not alone.
Getting healthy can be challenging, especially when you don’t really know what you should be doing.
This is one of the many reasons why we firmly believe in functional testing. If we know exactly how your unique body is functioning – how it is processing nutrients, how it is handling inflammation – we can more effectively support your body’s healing processes, and help you meet your goals.
Another powerful reason why we test is that it helps us get to the root cause of poor health. Functional testing takes a deeper look than traditional labs as to what is going on beneath the surface. It allows us to find the missing puzzle pieces for your health so that you can get back on track again. Sometimes the missing piece is a poor gut health, sometimes it is rapid-fire inflammation, other times it is hormone imbalances. All of these things are key when you are trying to improve your health.
Who needs this panel?
- Adult Concentration / Focus Issues
- Headaches / Migraine / Cluster
- Seizure Disorders
- Post Concussion Complications
- Uncontrollable Repetitive Movements / Tics
- Vertigo / Dizziness
- Anxiety / Depression / Mood Issues
- Memory Loss / Mental Deterioration
- Vision Loss Associated with Retina Damage
- Neuropathies / Neuralgias
Our report, will take your genetic results and create nutritional and lifestyle recommendations along with recommended lab work and health precautions based upon many factors and their clinical expertise.
Are You finding yourself getting into moods at the beginning of the day and not being able to shake it? Or going through life and emotionally gliding through whatever comes your way? No matter which, there is a connection between mood and genetics. For example, those with the COMT single-nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP, experience a difficult time calming down or regulating excitatory neurotransmitters. But what are neurotransmitters (NTs) and their relationship to SNPs?
Brain Chemistry of Neurotransmitters
Serotonin & Dopamine – Technically the Only Two Things You Enjoy
There are “inhibitory” neurotransmitters and “excitatory” neurotransmitters. Inhibitory neurotransmitters work to counterbalance excitatory neurotransmitters and are considered the “feel-good” neurotransmitters. GABA, serotonin, and dopamine are among a few. They allow the brain to calm and feel balanced. Excitatory neurotransmitters are responsible for motivation, focus, anxiety, stress, and more. Norepinephrine and epinephrine (noradrenaline and adrenaline) are classified as excitatory, stimulating the brain.
Imbalance of Inhibitory & Excitatory Neurotransmitters
It’s not uncommon for the body to run out of inhibitory neurotransmitters when one has overactive excitatory neurotransmitters. When inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters are not working together and are imbalanced, moods like anger, agitation, anxiety, depression can occur. Change in weight, sleep issues, and poor concentration can also be a byproduct. An estimated 86% of Americans have an imbalance between inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters.
Genes Associated With Depression
Depression is not genetically inherited, but the potential for depression in each person is epigenetically modified by environment, stress, genetic makeup and nutritional health.
In the nutrigenomic world, the depression risk factors are associated with two genes that are associated with a higher risk of developing depression. These genes do not guarantee any person will get depression.
The specific genes are the MAO and COMT. Both of these genes affect the speed at which neurotransmitters are broken down and cleared from the post synaptic receptor.
In both MAO A and B homozygous and COMT homozygous, the mono-amines are cleared from the receptor site in a sluggish manner.
This makes the post synaptic neuron less adaptable to changes in neurotransmitter status and leads to a higher likelihood of depression and/or anxiety in that patient.
By assisting these mutations with methyl donors (ie taurine, methionine, choline, inositol), the practitioner can speed the clearance of the neurotransmitters and lessen the likelihood of developing depression.*
How Neurotransmitter Genetic Testing Can Help
The issues that accompany an imbalance of inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters can be exacerbated by specific genetic SNPs in neurotransmitter markers like COMT, MAO-A, MAO-B, GAB 12.
Drugs (recreational and/or prescription), neurotoxins, stress, alcohol, poor diet, and caffeine can also fuel symptoms by encouraging these SNPs to further express themselves.
Ultimately, neurotransmitter genetic testing lets doctors and their patients understand their underlying issues with neurotransmitter function and implement personalized solutions.