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Earlier PGx Reports, Psychiatric Treatment Setting Linked to Speedy Symptom Decline in Depression Patients

For a paper in Pharmacogenomics Journal, investigators at the Avera Institute for Human Genetics, the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, and RTI International consider pharmacogenomic testing utility in major depressive disorder (MDD) or "depressive disorder not otherwise specified" (DD-NOS) patients treated in psychiatric and primary care setting. Using available data from yet-to-be-published prospective studies of the GeneFolio Pharmacogenomic Panel, from the Sioux Falls-based health system Avera Health, the team saw faster dips in depression scores on "patient health questionnaire" (PHQ-9) or Becks Depression Inventory (BD) questionnaires in patients randomized to receive PGx reports and related pharmacist recommendations after four weeks compared to those receiving results at 12 weeks. Likewise, they note, depression severity seemed to decline faster in the psychiatrist-treated group relative to patients in a primary care setting. "Our study provides evidence that those who were treated at four weeks and who had changes in their medication based on their report improved their PHQ-9 scores faster than those in the 12-week group," they report, noting that "clinical improvements were evidenced by decreasing depression severity scores (PHQ-9 and BDI), decreasing number of depression symptoms, and numbers of distressing symptoms over the six-month study."

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.