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Gene Variant Predicts Treatment Success in Depression

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - MedPage Today Action Points

o Explain to interested patients that treatment for depression is usually based on trial and error because not all patients respond to the same medications.

o Note that this study suggests that detectable genetic variations may eventually help guide treatment decisions.

o Caution that more research is needed.

BETHESDA, Md., Aug. 1 -- The success of treatment with the antidepressant citalopram (Celexa) depends partly on a common genetic variation, researchers here said.

The finding offers hope that researchers are on track to tease out the genetic reasons why some people respond to medication while others do not, according to Francis McMahon, M.D., of the National Institute of Mental Health, and colleagues.

The effect of the new variation -- found in the GRIK4 gene, which codes for the kainic acid-type glutamate receptor KA1 -- is modest, the researchers reported in the Aug. issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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