CHALFONT, PA--(Marketwired - February 06, 2014) - For some patients, the key to successful behavioral health treatment may be in their genes. That's the concept behind a new program at Princeton House Behavioral Health, which uses DNA tests to help identify medications that will prove most effective.
The program -- which was piloted at Princeton House's Mount Lucas Road, Princeton, outpatient site beginning in January -- uses the Genecept™ Assay, a tool developed by the personalized medicine company Genomind to help psychiatrists understand genetic and biological markers and how they affect a patient's response to treatment.
A patient provides a saliva sample that is tested in a laboratory to analyze key indicators related to the patient's metabolism and brain chemistry.
The test results will determine how the patient's body metabolizes different medications and how they may affect his or her behavior.
The psychiatrist then uses the information to aid in the design of a personalized treatment plan for the patient.
David Cordon, MD, Vice Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Princeton House, said personalized medicine offers a new option for treating patients who have had limited success with prior therapies. The approach also may help avoid side effects, such as weight gain, that are associated with certain medications.
"We're accounting for the individual differences that are written into each patient's DNA," Dr. Cordon said. "This is particularly helpful in psychiatry because many of the common illnesses we treat have a significant genetic component."
For example, genetic information can enhance the treatment of conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, OCD and ADHD.
"We believe the genetic tests will help us find effective treatments and limit side effects, even for patients who have been treatment resistant multiple times in the past," Dr. Cordon said.
"It is rewarding for Genomind to partner with a leader like Princeton House in bringing this new information to clinical practice and patient care," said Jay Lombard, DO, Genomind's Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer, and Medical Director. "We share their mission of improving care for patients with psychiatric conditions which are often difficult to treat."
Even though genetic testing in behavioral health is a fairly new practice, it is covered by many insurances. However, not all patients will be tested. The need will be evaluated based on several factors, including past treatments, and the technology is currently not offered at Princeton House's main inpatient campus in Princeton, where individuals tend to be in treatment for a much shorter duration than in the outpatient settings.
Princeton House's Mount Lucas location is the first outpatient facility in New Jersey to use the Genecept Assay. Additional Princeton House outpatient sites in North Brunswick, Princeton, Hamilton and Moorestown will soon begin using the Genecept Assay as well.
A unit of Princeton HealthCare System, Princeton House offers a full range of partial hospital and intensive outpatient services for children, adolescents and adults who are dealing with mental health issues, substance abuse or both. For more information, please visit www.princetonhouse.org or call 1-888-437-1610.
About Princeton HealthCare System
Princeton HealthCare System is a comprehensive, integrated healthcare system that strives to anticipate and serve the lifelong needs of central New Jersey residents, including acute care hospital services through University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, behavioral healthcare through Princeton House Behavioral Health, rehabilitation, home care, hospice care, ambulatory surgery, a primary and specialty medical practice, and fitness and wellness services. For more information, visit www.princetonhcs.org.
About Genomind and the Genecept Assay
Genomind is a personalized medicine company comprised of innovative researchers and expert leaders in psychiatry and neurology. Genomind was founded by Ronald I. Dozoretz, MD, a psychiatrist who has devoted his career to improving mental health. Jay Lombard, DO, a neurologist and co-founder of Genomind, is a critically acclaimed author and nationally recognized thought leader in neuropsychiatry practice and research. The Genecept Assay, Genomind's core product, is a saliva-based genetic test used to understand genetic and biological markers that best inform response to different psychiatric treatments. Learn more at www.genomind.com.