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Medical News and Perspectives
May 11, 2005

Gene Variants Explain Patient Differences in Antiepileptic Drug Responses

JAMA. 2005;293(18):2199. doi:10.1001/jama.293.18.2199

Scientists are the first to admit that knowing all of the gene sequences in the human genome does little in and of itself for improving the health of patients. But additional research can turn these raw data into information physicians can use in making treatment decisions for their patients.

Such was the finding by David Goldstein, PhD, and colleagues at the University College London, in England, who discovered that particular genetic variations could explain variation in response of patients with epilepsy to antiepileptic drugs, namely the differences in the doses of drugs required to control seizures (Tate et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102:5507-5512). Their results point to the potential for tailored prescribing of the thousands of medications for various conditions, a scenario that could help maximize benefit to the patient while minimizing adverse effects.

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