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Gene variations explain drug dose required to control seizures

improve dosing decisions, he added. In particular, it may be clinically relevant to determine whether physicians can safely increase drug doses more rapidly for some patients. Such a trial might also allow physicians to identify patients who might safely take a smaller dose, thereby minimizing their risk for adverse side effects, he added.

The findings in epilepsy set the stage for scientists to evaluate other conditions in which gene-based diagnostics might help determine the optimum dosage of particular therapies for particular patients, Goldstein said.

"For most drugs we know a lot about how and where they act in the body," Goldstein said. "The current results support the idea that known drug targets, transporters and drug metabolizing enzymes are good starting points for understanding variation among patients in drug response."

In Parkinson's disease, for example, a pharmacogenetic test might assist physicians in prescribing the drug dose that will balance short-term control of tremors with long-term drug side effects that eventually render the disease untreatable, he said. Patients' genetic makeup might also influence the dose of chemotherapy needed to successfully fight a tumor, while minimizing often intolerable side effects.


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Source:Duke University Medical Center


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