UVA targets alcoholism with genetic testing
The University of Virginia is now treating alcohol addiction based on individuals genetic profiles.
UVA has been a pioneer in establishing that some people are born with a proclivity towards alcohol addiction; now, for the first time, they are prescribing treatments tailored specifically to match their genetic profile.
Johnson: This brings the treatment of addiction very much into the forefront of modern medicine.
Dr. Bankole Johnson is the study leader and professor and chair of the UVA Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences.
Johnson: You can go to your doctor, get a genetic test; if you qualify, get the medicine and your progress can then be followed by serial blood tests or examinations.
The study tested 283 genetically-profiled alcoholics for the efficacy of odansetron, which is known to counteract serotonin, which their research indicates could play a significant role in influencing drinking intensity. The findings will be published in the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News