GeneSightRx, CYP450, and Antidepressants

The following quoted text is an excerpt of an article by Mary Carmichael, on Newsweek’s web site:

Psychiatrists call it the “trial and error factor”: when they set out to prescribe an antidepressant, they have no clinically proven way of knowing which one to choose. Any given antidepressant tends to help only about a third of patients; the other two-thirds end up doing the prescription shuffle, trying one drug, then another, then a third or fourth in hopes of finally hitting on a treatment that works.

In theory, pharmacogenetics—the subfield of personalized medicine that focuses on how people with different DNA variants respond to drugs—is supposed to solve this problem. The idea is to allow doctors to tailor their prescribing to their patients’ genes. But so far, despite all the research that has been done in the decade since the first draft of the Human Genome Project was released, the genetics of mental illness are still a maddeningly complex mystery.

What, then, to make of GeneSightRx, a new test that identifies variants in five genes and tells doctors which antidepressant to pick based on its results?

via GeneSightRx, CYP450, and Antidepressants. (Newsweek)

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When treating mental illness, more caution should be taken before prescribing medication

Subcategories: opinion, mental health awareness month

By Andy Alt

I’m somewhat concerned about treatment options available for mental illness. I’m of the opinion that psychotropic drugs are over-prescribed. I believe their efficacy is overstated, and the risks understated.

It’s especially challenging to track and record the cases in which medications have done more harm than good. For instance, on NAMI’s web site, under Medications -> Paxil -> common side effects:

- Feeling nervous, restless, fatigued, sleepy or having trouble sleeping (insomnia)

Those symptoms can cause depression, or are symptoms of depression. I believe that doctors who are qualified to prescribe SSRI or SNRI class medications do not have the tools necessary to, in many cases, make a clear, science-based distinction between cause and effect. This isn’t their fault of course. The technology, medical or otherwise, simply isn’t available. This isn’t true for all situations–if a doctor does a thorough job of documenting case history and listens carefully, there can be obvious signals that help define and distinguish how a medication might be negatively or positively impacting an individual. Continue reading →

Why Your Brain Craves Music

Originally posted on Science & Space:

If making music isn’t the most ancient of human activities, it’s got to be pretty close. Melody and rhythm can trigger feelings from sadness to serenity to joy to awe; they can bring memories from childhood vividly back to life. The taste of a tiny cake may have inspired Marcel Proust to pen the seven-volume novel Remembrance of Things Past, but fire up the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” and you’ll throw the entire baby-boom generation into a Woodstock-era reverie.

From an evolutionary point of view, however, music doesn’t seem to make sense. Unlike sex, say, or food, it did nothing to help our distant ancestors survive and reproduce. Yet music and its effects are in powerful evidence across virtually all cultures, so it must satisfy some sort of universal need — often in ways we can’t begin to fathom. A few years ago, a single composition lifted Valorie Salimpoor…

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5 Activities to Help Children Develop Emotional Control – Moments A Day

by Chelsea Lee Smith

5 Activities to Help Children Develop Emotional Control – Moments A Day

Give Me a Perfect World

This is the title track on a great album by Sun Palace:

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River Flows in You

River Flows In You – Single
by Adam Ambrosini

Positive Playlists

Originally posted on Haley J Snyder:

Friday Funday!! Today I want to share an easy, cost effective way to stay positive and remind yourself that life will always get better.  The other day, I came up with a playlist for myself that includes songs that not only build you up, but also offer encouragement for your daily life – don’t worry, it’s not boring or lame!  The songs and their links are below, I hope you enjoy!!

“Brand New Day” -Josh Radin

“All About That Bass” – Meghan Trainor

“Secrets” – Mary Lambert

“Be Okay” – Oh Honey

“Beautiful Day” – Josh Radin

“Haven’t Met You Yet” – Michael Buble

“I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor

“I’m Alive” – Celine Dion

“Bring On The Rain” – JoDee Messina

“Let It Go” – Idina Menzel

“Didn’t Know My Own Strength” – Whitney Houston

“Greatest Love Of All” – Whitney Houston

“Shake It Out” – Florence and the…

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Date Rape is Rape #NOMORE

Originally posted on Kitt O'Malley:

UC Berkeley Sather Tower - Yale

Twice in one year, her senior year at UC Berkeley, she was raped by men she knew. One was a friend of a couple of her housemates. He wanted her and pursued her relentlessly. She finally aquieced to a date. After dinner at his place, he refused to take her home when she said she wanted to leave. He insisted she stay the night. She did not have taxi fare to leave and go home, so she submitted and stayed the night. The word “submitted” sounded so wrong to her as a feminist, but it is how she felt. The feeling was alien and unnatural for her and caused her great shame. She thought of herself as strong and assertive, not as submissive. The fact was she didn’t feel safe alone on the streets of Oakland. She wasn’t familiar with his neighborhood, and had no idea how to get back to her own neighborhood near the Ashby BART station. Although it…

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