January 5, 2012 – Berlin, Germany – Sebastian Erbe MD, researcher at the Department of Psychiatry of the Schlosspark-Klinik in Berlin, Germany, presented a case history of the successful use of Genomind’s Genecept™ Assay to help a patient with recurrent depression at the German Association for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (DGPPN) annual meeting held November 23-26, 2011 in Berlin.
The presentation, entitled “Epigenetic interaction between mutations in the COMT and in the MTHFR gene: Cause of a ‘lack of dopamine’ depression?” discusses the case of a 54-year-old patient with recurrent depression hospitalized for six weeks in the Schlosspark-Klinik Berlin because of a depressive episode. Genotyping of the patient was conducted using the Genecept Assay and was evaluated retrospectively.
“The patient’s first depressive episode was at age 30 and recurred almost annually, including prior hospitalizations and treatment with various medications,” said Dr. Erbe. “By conducting a genetic study using the Genecept Assay, we were able to determine that the patient had overactive catechol-O-methyltranferase (COMT).”
In humans, the catechol-O-methyltransferase protein is encoded by the COMT gene. As the regulation of catecholamines is impaired in a number of medical conditions, several pharmaceutical drugs target COMT to alter its activity and therefore the availability of catecholamines.
“Because high dopamine levels can be an explanation for the depressive phase of patients in the predominant psychomotor depletion, this finding was a possible indication that dopaminergic agents such as bupropion, MAO-Hemmer, or amphetamines could be helpful to our patient. In addition, the treatment team felt that administration of high doses of folic acid could be helpful to counteract the genetic weak MTHFR activity,” Dr. Erbe said.
Besides Dr. Erbe, other authors of the poster were Jay Lombard, DO, Chief Scientific Officer for Genomind and Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Tom Bschor, MD, Director, Department of Psychiatry, Schlosspark-Klinik. Those interested can download the German/English poster (PDF) from the Genomind website.
“We are delighted that the Genecept Assay was able to help this patient. This is a wonderful demonstration of how genetic testing can help clinicians be more confident about the treatment decisions they make,” said Dr. Lombard. “As opposed to trial and error, a personalized medicine approach has great promise for making better choices about treatment.”
The Genecept™ Assay is an integrated approach that analyzes neurotransmitter variations to help the clinician arrive at informed therapeutic decisions. The assay combines a proprietary panel of biomarker tests, an analytical report, and psychopharmacologist support.
Genomind has also initiated pilot studies with leading industry partners to further demonstrate clinical utility, efficacy outcomes, and cost savings from the use of the Genecept Assay. Those interested in learning more about the research can download a single-page PDF version poster from the Genomind web site.
The German Association for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (DGPPN) is a medical professional society. The DGPPN was founded in 1842 and currently has more than 5,900 members. It is the largest and oldest scientific association of doctors and scientists working in the field of psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychosomatics in Germany. The work of the DGPPN is based on the vision of a society in which people with mental illnesses can live free from prejudice and receive the personalized care and necessary help they need. Optimal, scientifically founded and individualized medical, psychological and social support should be available to everyone at all times and in all places. Learn more at https://www.dgppn.de.
The Schlosspark-Klinik has gained an excellent reputation as an attractive and highly competitive hospital in Germany. Capacity, economic viability and good medical and nursing quality are the crucial success factors of this clinic in private ownership. The clinic is an academic teaching hospital of the Charité, health-promoting hospital of the WHO and certificated by KTQ (cooperation for transparency and quality in hospitals). Learn more at https://www.schlosspark-klinik.de.
Genomind is a company specializing in neuropsychiatric personalized medicine and was formed to facilitate the adoption of personalized medicine into psychiatry by providing genetic information to better understand the patient. Genomind was founded by Ronald I. Dozoretz, MD, a psychiatrist who has devoted his career to improving mental health and bringing innovations in science, delivery, and access to mental health patients. Dr Lombard, a neurologist, is co-founder of Genomind and is a critically acclaimed author and nationally recognized thought leader in neuropsychiatry practice and research. Learn more at genomind.com.