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Pharmacogenetic Decision Support Tools: A New Paradigm for Late-Life Depression?

There is limited evidence supporting the use of decision support tools DSTs for major depressive disorder (MDD) in adult populations and there is no primary research data in older adults. Clinicians still employ a “trial-and-error” approach to optimizing treatment regimens for late-life depression (LLD). With LLD affecting a significant and growing segment of the population, and with only about half of older adults responsive to antidepressant therapy, there is an urgent need for a better treatment paradigm, prospective clinical trials specifically in LLD cohorts, as well as for independent replication of industry-sponsored research and head-to-head trials for MDD. Pharmacogenetic DSTs are not the standard of care for LLD treatment, but have theoretical and anecdotal support. Physicians should cautiously consider the use of DSTs for LLD treatment, and be aware that DSTs are a heterogeneous group of products with a rapidly evolving evidence-base. In an article in which Dr. Ryan Abbott, along with other doctors and professors write a clinical review  "Pharmacogenetic Decision Support Tools: A New Paradigm for Late-Life Depression?" is the first to provide a critical analysis of the peer-reviewed literature on pharmacogenetic support tools (DSTs) for late-life depression management.