Genetic testing can improve options for those suffering from dep - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Genetic testing can improve options for those suffering from depression

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Many Americans suffer from depression year round, but according to experts it often gets worse during the winter months.

According to a release, 19 million Americans suffer from severe winter depression also known as "Seasonal Affective Disorder." (SAD) Factors including financial debt, bad weather, weight gain and more can cause post-holiday depression during the colder months, or even worsen existing depression.

Experts say symptoms may include, loss of interest in activities, withdrawal from social interactions, sleep problems, appetite issues, thoughts of suicide, feelings of hopelessness, lack of energy, decreased sex drive and more. 

Research studies show that less than half of patients with depression actually have a response to their medication, leading to a series of trial and error treatments. But the question remains what is the right medication for those suffering from depression?

Well experts say it's based on a persons' genetic profile, which patients can use a genetic testing assessment called 'GeneSight.' GeneSight uses patients saliva to analyze 12 genes against 55 different medications that account for 95 percent of all antidepressant prescriptions.

A clinical study published in the 'Molecular Neuropsychiatry Journal', showed that patients who used the GeneSight testing experienced a 70 percent improvement in depression symptoms.

Medicare and other health plans do cover the GeneSight testing for those who have used one or more anti-depressant medications that have failed. Experts say so far 23,000 healthcare professioanls have used GeneSight with more than 650,000 of their patients.

Click here to learn more about genetic testing. 

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