Objectives: This paper reviews the pharmacogenetics of mood disorders.
Methods: We have searched the literature for published studies and abstracts relevant for genetic effects in acute antidepressant treatment and in long-term prophylactic treatment.
Results: The most promising findings to date show an association of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene and the response to serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Genetic factors also appear to play a significant role in the outcome of long-term lithium treatment. The phenotype of lithium-responsive bipolar disorder is associated with stronger genetic effects as well as with an increased phenotypic homogeneity.
Conclusions: Genetic factors likely influence treatment response in mood disorders. Clarifying their precise role will have implications for treatment as well as for understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms of these disorders.