Genetics 101

Seasonal Affective Disorder

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and what are my treatment options?

Seasonal Affective Disorder Many people find themselves feeling down during the dark and dreary winter months. For some, the winter blues become serious depression. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a pattern of major depressive episodes, with symptoms typically occurring each year during the fall and winter. Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal [...]


The SLC6A4 gene and response to antidepressants: Why the evidence still isn’t enough

Growing scientific evidence shows a link between the SLC6A4 gene and response to antidepressants. The SLC6A4 gene is involved in regulating serotonin – the brain chemical that influences everything from sleep to appetite to mood. Some genetic testing companies test SLC6A4 gene variations, promising to predict your response to antidepressants [...]

pharmacogenetics testing

The Pillcheck Difference

Choosing the Right PGx Test As pharmacogenetics testing becomes more widely available, it is important to understand that not all tests are the same. Different testing companies provide different recommendations with regards to applying information from PGx tests into clinical practice. It is important to understand what you are getting [...]


Medical Liability in Pharmacogenetics – Risk vs. Benefit

The risk of side effects and adverse reactions is a constant threat when physicians prescribe medication. Pharmacogenetics (PGx) tries to mitigate that risk. Traditional prescribing takes age, weight, sex, and biochemical test results when available into account. Pharmacogenetics uses genetic testing to assess variations in drug metabolizing genes to [...]

ancestry genetic

Can I use my ancestry genetic test results to get a Pillcheck report?

Ancestry genetic testing is a great introduction to genetics for many consumers. Direct-to-consumer ancestry tests can predict how much Neanderthal DNA you’ve inherited or that your eyes are blue rather than brown. These tests are entertaining, affordable and have changed the relationship we have with our DNA. However, ancestry [...]


What is the best medication for anxiety and depression?

An estimated 17 percent of North Americans will experience a serious bout of depression during their lifetime, and 20 percent will experience an anxiety disorder. Antidepressant medications are typically prescribed to help with six broad categories: panic attacks; obsessions and worries; general anxiety; social anxieties or phobias; and any combination of [...]


Ketamine: an option for treatment resistant depression?

Millions of people are diagnosed with major depressive disorder every year. For roughly 30% of these individuals, standard antidepressants are not effective. People with treatment-resistant depression typically exhaust all options, trying antidepressant after antidepressant with no improvement in symptoms. Treatment-resistant patients sometimes turn to other therapies, such as cognitive [...]