Mental Health Genetic Testing: What You Need to Know
Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia are complex and often misunderstood disorders that can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. While there is no singular cause for mental health conditions, research has shown that genetics play a role in their development. As a result, mental health genetic testing has become an increasingly popular way for individuals to gain a better understanding of their own mental health and potentially identify their risk for certain conditions.
But what exactly is mental health genetic testing, and how does it work? In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of this increasingly popular form of testing and discuss what you need to know before considering it for yourself or a loved one.
What is Mental Health Genetic Testing?
Mental health genetic testing is a form of genetic testing that looks for specific genetic variations that have been linked to mental health conditions. These variations, known as genetic markers, can be used to assess an individual’s risk for developing certain mental health conditions and guide their treatment.
There are several different types of mental health genetic testing available, including:
- Single gene testing: This type of testing looks for specific genetic variations in a single gene that have been linked to a mental health condition. For example, a test may look for a genetic variation in the serotonin transporter gene, which has been linked to an increased risk of developing depression.
- Multigene panel testing: This type of testing looks for genetic variations in multiple genes that have been linked to a specific mental health condition. For example, a panel test may look for genetic variations in several genes that have been linked to an increased risk of developing schizophrenia.
- Whole exome or genome sequencing: This type of testing looks at the entire exome (the protein-coding part of the genome) or genome (the complete set of genetic instructions in an organism) to identify any genetic variations that may be associated with mental health conditions.
Mental health genetic testing is typically done using a sample of an individual’s DNA, which can be obtained through a blood or saliva sample. The sample is then sent to a laboratory where it is analyzed for specific genetic variations.
What Are the Benefits of Mental Health Genetic Testing?
There are several potential benefits to mental health genetic testing, including:
- Personalized treatment: Mental health genetic testing can help identify specific genetic variations that may be contributing to an individual’s mental health condition, which can guide their treatment. For example, if an individual has a genetic variation that is known to respond well to a certain medication, their healthcare provider may be more likely to prescribe that medication.
- Improved understanding: Mental health genetic testing can help individuals and their families better understand the underlying causes of their mental health condition and how it may be passed down through their family. This can provide a sense of clarity and help individuals and their families feel more in control of their mental health.
- Early detection: By identifying genetic variations that may increase an individual’s risk for a mental health condition, mental health genetic testing can help with early detection and intervention. This can potentially prevent the condition from worsening and improve the individual’s overall quality of life.
- While testing, it’s important to keep the relationship between physical and mental health in mind. One of the best ways to understand where one’s physical health stands is through a body composition test. Just like seeing a Dermatologist or a heart doctor, we need to keep our mental health checked too.
Mental Health Genetic Testing from IntellxxDNA
No matter your age, race or gender, understanding your genomic profile provides a guide for you and your clinician in the care of your body and mind. Your clinician can use an IntellxxDNA test to provide comprehensive, clinical-focused knowledge of health risks and benefits within your personal genetic make-up. Our reports are a foundation for planning your personalized approach toward optimal health, wellness and an improved quality of life.
IntellxxDNA reports don’t make decisions for you. Instead, they provide unprecedented insight into your unique genetic make-up to assist your clinician in developing true, personalized care. How?
Your DNA contains variants, or SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), that may signal potential benefits and risks that lie within your DNA. Our reports examine the complex interplay between these variants and how they can affect your quality of life. We include evidence-based, well-researched potential intervention strategies – encompassing environment, lifestyle, nutrition, supplements and medications – that will serve as a basis of discussion between you and your clinician.