Monday, February 4, 2008

Genome Boy Friday, Scienceroll hits Yale Monday

After listening to a great lecture by Berci this afternoon I got so amp'd that I decided to submit my rebuttal to the Nature Genetics editorial. At the same time I was doing that I read an email from a good friend of mine Dr Colby.

He tells me about a little known company called Psynomics.

From the site:

"Our first two products:Psynome™ – tests for two mutations of the GRK3 gene that are associated with bipolar disorder.

Psynome2™ –tests for gene mutations in the Promoter L allele gene that predicts patient response to serotonin-based drugs, the most commonly prescribed drug therapies in psychiatry today. These tests are useful to your doctor in making a timely and accurate diagnosis of your condition and prescribing the right medication. The tests can be ordered individually or combined. "

So what are the studies backing up these tests????

The company sites one journal article (Barrett 2007 entitled " Further evidence for association of GRK3 to bipolar disorder suggests a second disease mutation") and it so happens the primary journal author is also the VP at Psynomics....hmmmmmmm

What's the gist of this paper? Basically you have a paper saying “this gene contains some mutations related to bipolar disease"

From the paper-

In summary, we have identified at least two distinct haplotypes in GRK3 which demonstrate evidence for association with disease, raising the possibility that there may be more than one BPD risk mutation at this locus.

Brandon's point and I concur "Do you think that with this mystery still unsolved it is a good idea to sell the testing?" Even better. If you test positive, how do you stop the bipolar disorder? The website even acknowledges this.

The Sherpa Says: Another spit kit, another sucker. SNPs aren't everything, we still have to evaluate copy number variation, epigenetics.......We need to look at what ApoeE4 can show us. (Hat tip to Steve) Let's pick off something we can sink our teeth into. Let's regroup at base camp.

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