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Preview: Comments on Dr. Deb: At-Home DNA Test For Bipolar Disorder

Comments on Dr. Deb: At-Home DNA Test For Bipolar Disorder

Updated: 2016-08-01T13:34:18.587-04:00


every bit of breakthrough for any health issue is ...


every bit of breakthrough for any health issue is exciting indeed!

Bee just nailed some massive issues! Anyone who ha...


Bee just nailed some massive issues! Anyone who has been diagnosed with any serious 'mental disorder' is going to have a really rude awakening if they need to apply for private insurance. Now that people can also be weeded out on the basis of the existence of a gene, they probably will be, whether they are diagnosed or not. Ironically, this shoving off of patients with so-called mental disorders, is not due only to the costs of the disorder itself, but by the insurance companies' anticipation of major health problems linked to some of the treatments. That is why they will reject the applicant instead of just exclude mental health from the policy. They do this with things that are not classified as 'mental', too, but for things that are not considered systemic, they will usually exclude the coverage of specific conditions or body parts instead of rejecting the applicant. I know. I have an uninsured body part!

Though it may be initially comforting that the test results will only be sent to doctors, that backfires, too, as far as insurance goes. Private insurance requires bloodtest, urine tests, and fairly rigorous screening. The big thing here -- they also pull the medical records. If you don't sign to let them access your records, they will turn you down FLAT. Period. End of discussion. So, when they pull the records, and see the genetic test results that were sent to your doctor and you have the gene... it's just not good.

Example: What if some person was depressed after a death in the family and the doctor gave them antidepressants and the patient disliked the side effects and came in to complain about it. The doctor overreacts (because we're all supposed to gobble down antidepressants, you know:-). Doctor orders the test to 'make sure' the patient is not BP. What if it ends up that the person has the gene, cans the antidepressants a few months after adjusting to the death, and then is fine -- UNTIL they lose their job years later and have to fend for themselves with private insurance. This person could literally develop, and die of, heart disease or cancer or a metabolic disease because they can't afford proper and regular screenings for an entire family with no insurance. Things like this happen more than we would like to believe. To allow a test like this, when it is inconclusive and cannot serve a solid purpose, is hazardous to longterm health. I think some guy just wants to make money selling his test. I wouldn't even be surprised if he got some research funding from the big insurance groups.

Anyone who thinks they may lose their insurance, or need to be self employed in the future, should consider these things VERY carefully before having a test like this. By all means, get some kind of treatment, but be very wary of any genetic test that can't really give you the answers you need. Something like this could follow a person and make it very difficult, or even impossible, to take care of health matters in certain situations. I would never agree to a test like this. If I were uninsurable, who would be the policy owner for my dependent children in the private insurance arena? Due to PTSD issues, I would probably not be able to keep the kind of job that would make me eligible for group coverage. If one of my children required expensive treatment, would I have to render myself financially insolvent so the child would qualify for Medicaid, or would I have to give up custody of my sick child to someone who has a group policy and could list them as a dependent?

It's a hard, cold world out there. Tests like these are not a game and we never know what life might bring. We all need to be very careful with our insurability. Our very lives and the lives of our minor children could depend on it. People die every day because they can't afford expensive and life saving medical care. Don't be one of them if you can help it.

Aside from patient confidentiality which is a larg...


Aside from patient confidentiality which is a large issue for me (having worked in the insurance field), I would hope that the research has been exhaustive to prove that this underlying gene is the culprit.

Even false positives would be an acceptable compromise, because they will only send your information to a licensed professional managing your care and not to you. (See their PDF consent form) This is especially important if you are experiencing mental health disorder symptoms.

The consent form also informs you that:
"Genetic testing may expose you to risk of discrimination by
health insurance companies, making it more difficult for you to be insured."

That is a big issue for me.

My question would be, why can't the person's doctor do this test for you in office if the results go to your doctor who is already treating you anyway?

I would wonder at Psynomics primary motive, research or money, and unless they are using data for further research, I would cringe to know I am just paying for a more expensive, but convienient lab.


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An interesting, controversial, deep, multi-faceted...


An interesting, controversial, deep, multi-faceted topic! I foresee more from you in the future on this, and trust that you'll bring us news as it comes on the issue!

Oh, and you're finally a noodlehead.

(I finally put you in my sidebar, I've been recently sloooooooooowly revamping my sidebar, a couple deaths in the family and a diagnosis of genetic osteoarthritis kinda started this year off rough for me, but I'm picking myself back up.)

Anyway, go take a look under noodleheads. (One of my attempts to accept my silliness, as is part of the purpose of my blog, is titling my favorite bloggers section of the sidebar/links "Noodleheads") Besides, you guys all use your noodles pretty well, I'd say! Hee hee.

Sorry to ramble, I lost my adderall last week, off to get more tonight (lol).

TTFN, and thanks for keepin' on checking in with me, even though I've been scarce! As you can see, it's been a heckuva start to the year! (er, not that I'm going to use your comments for updates, but it HAS been a long time!)

8^D (insert me waving hi, here!) sarebear.wav file teehee

Somehow this just scares me. Things like this alwa...


Somehow this just scares me. Things like this always do.

In our society we manage to take something promising and good, and turn them into a nightmare .. or something used to feed the greed of some corporation.

Like vaccines.

They were good once.. but then they started to feed the fear, and pump more chemicals into the children of mothers who were just trying to do what was right...

sad sad

You have to display the symptoms first? That odd.


You have to display the symptoms first? That odd.

While I can envision the possible positives of dev...


While I can envision the possible positives of developing a DNA test for Bipolar and other mental illnesses, I think it's far too early and far too inconclusive to have this product on the market.

The section about the test titled What Can Psynomics Testing Not Tell Me? shows how ineffectual this test actually is. I can't see spending $400 on a test that really doesn't offer any answers other than maybe a yes or no that you have a particular gene.

As they say on their own website..."Remember that genes don’t dictate destiny. Having the gene doesn’t mean you have the disease."

Sounds promising. I read an article about finding ...


Sounds promising. I read an article about finding genes involved with Schizophrenia which is the other half of my condition.

Thought you'd be interested in reading it.

To clarify my comment... being able to say there i...


To clarify my comment... being able to say there is a lab test was meant directly for those people that say all mental illness is in your head, meds are a conspiracy between doctors and pharm. companies and "there is no lab test to prove a biological basis of mental illness like there is for diabetes"...which I have seen posted on many different places, including once here, I believe.

Dear Lynn,The gene can be there but the symptoms n...


Dear Lynn,
The gene can be there but the symptoms not. I know, it sounds odd. And I think it;s the idea of Stigma that will be reduced that has Fallen (and me) feeling hopeful.

Dear Intelligent,
Thank you for explaining it so well.

Dear JIP,
Good point.

Dear Cracker,
Stigma busting is a good thing.

Dear HP,
They isolated the gene in December 07. To have a test so fast made me a little wary too. I guess time will show us how accurate and useful it can/will be.

Dear OHN,
I think you make an excellent point. The results, I think, go to one's doctor. Not the person directly.

Dear Lynn,
Oh, thank you for the facts. I wasn't sure about that.

Dear Angel,
You also echo the worry of others here. What will be done with the DNA, etc. Who is safeguarding, watchdogging, etc. Good points.

Dear Wolfbaby,
Sadly, with great discoveries come those who may use them for malicious purposes. I share your concern too.

Dear Mysti,
Controversial too.

Dear S'Onnie,
Diagnosis is a ruling out phenomenon now. Having hard data can help...and for it to be done with a professional is the way to go, I agree.

Dear Dragon,
Hmmm, indeed.

Dear Raine,
All comments here echo my own excitment and concern. I know what you mean.

Dear United,
Yes, what happens to all that DNA afterwards?? Would be comforting to know how it's discarded, stored, etc.

Dear Beach,
I hear you. And you are right.

Dear BPD,
I feel excited about the possibilities but also concerned as well.

Dear Traci,

Dear Jade,
You and I, and many here, feel the same way. Excited, cautious, circumspect.

Dear Ms. L,
I have seen people who cannot find an accurate diagnosis. ANd treatments then become difficult. If something like this can help with diagnosis, it would be great. But with all this technology come bigger questions too.


I think that is so cool!Just think about all the p...


I think that is so cool!
Just think about all the possibilities now.
I heard on the news that saliva tests are going to be the next new thing to test for all sorts of medical problems.

I think thats absolutely amazing but worried at th...


I think thats absolutely amazing but worried at the same time. It would be horrible to "misdiagnose" someone because the test isn't %100 accurate or has a glitch found in later research. As we all know, one can "think" their way into having a condition. So hopefully this is something that is dependable in its outcome for those that it is applicable for.

OMG! The possibilities are amazing aren't they? No...


OMG! The possibilities are amazing aren't they? Now if I could just get my ex husband to spit on me again, I could send the test in and have some much needed info...heh

I am really leery of these tests


I am really leery of these tests

I don't find this to be successful at all. Why? Be...


I don't find this to be successful at all. Why? Because although, In my opinion, most mental illnesses and diseases are highly genetic, I don't believe that if you have the so-called gene that you have the disease or illness.

And even though environment, post partum depression, and childbirth can most definetely trigger bipolar to manifest, not everyone who experiences these things come out with bipolar even if they have the gene.

In my opinion, mental illnesses are both genetic and environmental with the genetics to be a higher rate. We cannot forget our OWN genetic make-up, chemistry, and how we handle stress.

I think that we all have a gene for something, that does not mean we are going to end up with something.

Alcoholism runs BIG in my family, and more than likely, I have the gene for it...but I don't drink a lot and I am not an alcoholic.

Maybe it's a paranoia thing, but I'm wary of anyth...


Maybe it's a paranoia thing, but I'm wary of anything that gives unfettered access to DNA. If our phone lines are being tapped, our library records are being recorded, and our bank records are being checked, what is to stop the government from futher encroaching on our privacy and entering our DNA into a databases for purposes other than what we intended it for?

I'm referring to possible denial of benefits ect


I'm referring to possible denial of benefits ect

wile excited about the possibilities I also concer...


wile excited about the possibilities I also concerned about such things as false negatives and the possible consequences of those. If this test were to be taken as accurate and it were not entirely accurate then there could be serious consequences not only from false positives but also false negatives




I think it's amazing what science can find out the...


I think it's amazing what science can find out these days. I do think that things like this test will help make diagnosis easier for drs rather then it just being a bit of a guessing game at times, they may be able to get an actual answer for what is going on. For me I think that is the key that the test is done along side a dr trying to find a diagnosis. I wouldn't like to see someone just off the street get the test and cause more headaches in the long run

Very Interesting!


Very Interesting!

It's interesting but concerning in that it's not c...


It's interesting but concerning in that it's not conclusive and the way various groups will play on this for political/financial reasons. I to worry that people will use this to eventually discrimate jut because someone has the gene. right now things like this are very private for people.. once you design test to conclusivly prove it.. (though i realize there not at that stage now) it is information anyone doing a drug test (ie jobs) can tell about you

*shrug* there are pluses and minsus to everything in life though;)

Hey Dr Deb :) I love love love the idea of this te...


Hey Dr Deb :)

I love love love the idea of this testing...however had a family memeber go in to have "saliva enzymes" tested, and of course there were tons of problem areas and she was talked into lots of experimental, non fda approved treatments/vitamins etc. So I guess I can see how this tech in the wrong (uneducated) hands could lead to troubles. All in all though, very nice to see that we are seeing "validation" as far as mental vs physical ailments!!!


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