How Can the GeneSight® Test Help Depression Treatment for Older Adults?

Clinicians may face many challenges when treating older adults, such as increased drug-drug interactions and higher rates of side effects.

The GeneSight Psychotropic test may help. The GeneSight test is a pharmacogenomic test that evaluates genetic variations in your patient’s DNA, and the results can inform you on how your patient may metabolize or respond to medications commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, ADHD and other psychiatric conditions.

How Does Depression in Older Adults Differ from Depression in Younger Patients?

In addition to the typical symptoms of depression (persistent feelings of sadness, irritability, loss of interest in activities, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, and sometimes, thoughts of suicide1 ), older adults may exhibit additional symptoms, including:


Avoiding social interactions
such as wanting to stay home rather than socialize or do new things


Physical complaints
such as physical aches or pains, fatigue, or loss of appetite


Cognitive problems
such as an inability to concentrate or remember things

Challenges of Treating Depression
in Older Adults

When treating elderly patients for depression, clinicians may face challenges such as:

Increased drug-drug interactions due to polypharmacy
Lower adherence
Higher rates of side effects
Greater number of comorbidities

Elderly patients may also have impaired production of CYP450 enzymes which could affect drug metabolism rate.

To help avoid the problems that can result from these factors, physicians can reference published guidelines to help make critical medication decisions. The GeneSight test can also provide genetic information to help inform a clinician’s medication selection.

The GeneSight Psychotropic Test

The GeneSight test can assist in medication selection by identifying medications that have patient-specific gene-drug interactions.

Patients 65 or older who were part of the GUIDED study and received the GeneSight Psychotropic test experienced:

Directional Improvement
in Symptoms
at week 8 compared to TAU
43%
relative improvement in symptoms
8%
absolute improvement in symptoms
Significantly Higher
Response Rates
at week 8 compared to TAU
84%
relative improvement in response rates
14%
absolute improvement in response rates
Significantly Higher
Remission Rates
at week 8 compared to TAU
172%
relative improvement in remission rates
13%
absolute improvement in remission rates
Ready to offer the GeneSight® test to your patients?
Get started by filling out the form below.

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Resources for Treating Depression in Older Adults

1 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007

The stories shared on this page are individual healthcare providers’ personal experience with GeneSight. Others may not have the same experience or outcome. Do not make any changes to your current medications or dosing without consulting your healthcare provider. The GeneSight test must be ordered by and used only in consultation with a healthcare provider who can prescribe medications.

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