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Study: Gene tests no use for depression

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Using gene-based tests designed to personalize the dose of anti-depressants has not been shown to improve patient outcomes, a new U.S. study says.

The tests use genetic analysis to determine the right dose of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of anti-depressants which includes Eli Lilly's Prozac.

But so far, there is little evidence to indicate the tests are useful, according to a new report funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Office of Public Health Genomics.

The tests themselves, which evaluate differences in genes that affect how fast a person metabolizes the drugs, were found to be accurate, according to the research by a team at Duke University. However, the researchers did not find any evidence that such tests led to improved patient outcomes or had an impact on treatment decisions for patients with depression.

That could be because other genetic factors, lifestyle choices and medical conditions have an impact on a patient's response to treatment, the researchers said.

Previous studies which established the efficacy of such tests as treatment guides were poorly designed, according to the report, and more research is needed.

http://www.upi.com/HealthBusiness/view.php?StoryID=20070104-043323-6888r
 

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