Behavioural Health Genetic Profile
Kashi's Behavioral Health Genetic Panel takes a multifaceted approach to defining each patient’s susceptibility to mood disorders, providing information about which types of treatments are most beneficial based on each patient’s genetic background.
About 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression or anxiety. Although the physiological basis behind these crippling mood disorders is not completely understood, several biochemical factors (such as serotonin) are scientifically proven to affect mental health and perceptions of panic or anxiety. Depression and anxiety medications, such as Zoloft and Paxil are designed to alter our response to the mood-associated neurotransmitter serotonin, while diet has also been reported to play a role in stabilising these factors. However, these are just a few of the many treatment options which may be better personalised if provided with specific genetic information.
Mood disorders are sometimes inherited in families. Because each individual’s genetic background plays a major role in determining the best approach to managing mental health, genetic testing can help in assessing the most effective method of treatment. Several genetic markers have been identified that affect metabolic pathways in the body involving dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, and folate; all known to be associated with depression and anxiety. The Kashi Behavioral Health Panel analyses multiple genes to determine whether there are any identifiable mutations known to affect these pathways, providing information that can help patients manage the mood disorder specific to their genetic code.
Potential Benefits of Testing with the Behavioral Health Panel:
- Determining medications that are best suited to the patient's genetic profile
- Identifying nutritional deficiencies that may be contributing to mood disorders
- Revealing genetic factors that may contribute to an individual's susceptibility to depression and anxiety
Tested Categories & Their Effect on Depression & Anxiety:
- COMT – Central to dopamine metabolism; heavily associated with propensity to worry
- MTHFR – Key to maintaining levels of activated folate, which may aid in preventing depression
- Vitamin B12 – Tests for a gene central to optimal B12 levels; B12 deficiency is a depression risk factor
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D helps mood regulation within the hippocampus, amygdala and thalmus regions of the brain
- Cytochrome P450 – CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 are key to metabolism and activation of antidepressant medications
There are numerous genetic mutations that are found all throughout the genome and in many cases there is no physiological consequence for possessing one allele versus another. Consequently, before inclusion in the panel each gene was carefully researched by Kashi’s PhD level scientists to assure that only the most informative genetic markers that have a well-established impact on health would be included in the test. Every gene that is included in the genetic panel has been carefully selected based on the following criteria:
1. Several clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals have reported a connection between the gene and depression and anxiety.
2. The gene must have a well established connection with depression and anxiety, antidepressant medication metabolism, or some other area that is of physiological importance to behavioral health.
3. All variants are connected to maintaining optimal levels of biochemical components (neurotransmitters, folate, Vitamins etc.) that impact mental health.
Kashi Clinical Laboratories utilizes a variety of molecular biology techniques including Luminex, RT-PCR, Sanger Sequencing, and Next Generation Sequencing