An Applied Context for Personalized Medicine in Psychiatry
This chapter reviews a number of early hypotheses about the role of neurotransmitters in depression. These hypotheses had some potential, but never had the impact one might have hoped for in the effort to shed light on the problems faced in personalized medicine in psychiatry. Psychiatry is hampered by its inherent inability to physically access the brain. Biopsies are not routinely performed to study illnesses such as depression, and, until recently, imaging the central nervous system was at best crude and at times painful for the patient. Recent advances in understanding genetics and depression, as well as results from brain imaging studies, provide opportunities for developing more targeted tests that hopefully are less affected by extraneous events. Still, the earlier experiences do provide some context, and lessons that can be used to develop more effectively personalized medicine for psychiatry.
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