Contract grant sponsor: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC); Contract grant number: 510135; Contract grant sponsor: NHMRC Career Development Award; Contract grant number: 1003921; Contract grant sponsor: University of New South Wales.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE USE OF GENETIC TESTS IN PSYCHIATRY, WITH A FOCUS ON MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER: A REVIEW
Article first published online: 14 SEP 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Depression and Anxiety
Volume 30, Issue 3, pages 267–275, March 2013
How to Cite
Wilde, A., Mitchell, P. B., Meiser, B. and Schofield, P. R. (2013), IMPLICATIONS OF THE USE OF GENETIC TESTS IN PSYCHIATRY, WITH A FOCUS ON MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER: A REVIEW. Depress. Anxiety, 30: 267–275. doi: 10.1002/da.22000
- Issue published online: 6 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 14 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 14 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Received: 28 NOV 2011
- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Grant Number: 510135
- NHMRC Career Development Award. Grant Number: 1003921
- University of New South Wales
- major depressive disorder;
- direct-to-consumer genetic testing;
- psychiatric genetics;
Advances in technology have enabled research to link many genetic markers to specific disease risk. This has led to the commercialization of genetic tests across a wide range of medical disorders. Public interest in one's own future health and an increasing desire for autonomy over one's health care have facilitated a large and growing market for such genetic tests to be sold direct to the consumer (DTC). Amidst a plethora of tests for a broad range of medical conditions, DTC genetic tests currently include a number of tests related to risk for various psychiatric illnesses including major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder and also for prediction of individual response to psychotropic medication. Although a large number of studies show that there is strong public interest in genetic susceptibility testing for psychiatric disorders, little is known about the impact on individuals of receiving the results of genetic tests. Moreover, the low predictive power and uncertain clinical validity and utility of DTC genetic tests for psychiatric disorders have led to both controversy and difficulties of interpretation of results. This review summarizes the rationale for using genetic risk tests in psychiatry, as an intervention for protective cognitive and behavioral change, and to predict medication response, with a focus on MDD. Since genetic risk information has the potential to influence major life-changing health decisions, there is an imperative to ensure that there is an appropriate evidence base to support the use of such genetic tests.