GeneSight is a laboratory developed genetic test that examines many of the genes involved when your body processes certain types of medicines. It is the only genetic test that provides this combined view to help your doctor know which medicines may be a best match for you based on your genetic makeup. GeneSight gives doctors important information that may help patients get on the right medicine faster. It is quick and painless, requiring only a Q-tip swab of your cheek to collect a DNA sample.
While genetic testing does not take the place of a physician's clinical judgment, it can often enhance it by yielding additional objective data that a clinician can use to make treatment decisions. In fact, multiple clinical studies have shown that when doctors used GeneSight to help guide treatment decisions, patients were twice as likely to respond to the selected medication. Plus, with treatment guided by GeneSight, patients saw a 70% greater improvement in their symptoms versus usual treatment. Genetic testing examines hepatic metabolism, or how one's liver breaks down and eliminates medicines, as well as many other genes that code for enzymes or receptors important in normal brain functioning.
A TIME magazine article dated May 2018 stated, “for decades, doctors have been treating depression essentially by prescribing a drug and hoping for the best. They rely on asking people about their family history of mental illness and fold in as much information as they can about symptoms. Since 2010, however, there has been a genetic test that can help doctors learn how a person’s genetic makeup can also affect their response to various antidepressants. In a new study presented at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting researchers say that people using the test, called GeneSight, are 50% more likely to achieve remission after eight weeks, and 30% more likely to the respond to the drugs the test recommended, compared to people treated without the test.”
Dr. McCormack finds genetic testing particularly helpful in complicated cases in which patients may be prescribed multiple medications, may have experienced side effects from medication trials, and/or may have experienced a lack of adequate response to multiple medications, It can also be especially helpful in patients suffering from treatment resistant depression (TRD), many of whom have suffered with severe, debilitating symptoms for a prolonged period of time. The objective data can often hasten the process of finding the right medicine or combination thereof to reduce or alleviate the suffering from the depression.
Many commercial and government insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid (both fee-for-service and CMO's), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, reimburse all or part of the cost of GeneSight. Assurex Health also offers sliding scale financial assistance programs based on household income for patients who qualify.
You do need to be an active patient at ABM in order to receive genetic testing. Please call our office at (706) 316–1908 if you would like to receive the testing. We would be happy to set up a consult with one of our to providers to discuss the test in detail with you.