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 stabilizing these factors. However, these are just a few of the many treatment options doctors may be able to suggest if provided with specific genetic information for a patient.
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 analyzes 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
Test Categories Included in the Behavioral Health Panel
|TEST CATEGORIES||EFFECT ON DEPRESSION AND 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 thalamus regions of the brain|
|Cytochrome P450||CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 are key to metabolism and activation of antidepressant medications|
How are the Test Categories Selected
There are numerous genes that are found all throughout the genome where, 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 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 association with depression and anxiety, antidepressant medication metabolism, or some other area that is of psychological importance to behavioral health.
3. All variants are reported to influence optimal levels of biochemical components (neurotransmitters, folate, Vitamins etc.) that impact mental health.
Tying it all Together
The genetic markers included in the Kashi Health Behavioral Panel have been rigorously analyzed by our experienced researchers. It is Kashi Health’s mission to provide healthcare providers with a deeper understanding of the genetic basis of their patients’ mood disorders, to provide more timely and effective care.
Get Started Today
Make Kashi Health's Genetic Testing Part of your Patient's Treatment Plan.
- Woo JM et al. The association between panic disorder and the L/L genotype of catechol-O-methyltransferase. J Psych Res. 2004; 38:365-370.
- Ganji V et al. Serum vitamin D concentrations are related to depression in young adult US population: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Int Arch Med. 2010; 3:29.
- Beydoun MA et al. Serum folate, vitamin B-12 and homocysteine and their association with depressive symptoms among US adults. Psychosom Med. 2010; 72:862-873.
- Gilbody S et al. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) genetic polymorphisms and psychiatric disorders: a HuGE review. Am J Epidem. 2007; 165:1-13.
- Samer CF et al. Applications of CYP450 testing in the clinical setting. Mol Diagn Ther. 2013; 17:165-184.