In the U.S. alone, over 9% of children and 4% of adults have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This common mental disorder affects one’s attention span and self-control, leading to trouble staying focused, developing relationships and succeeding in school or work. At ClarityX, we offer extensive ADHD genetic testing to help you make the best choice possible when it comes to treatment.
When introducing a new drug into your system, there’s always the chance that your body will react negatively or even reject it entirely.
To help counteract the effects of ADHD, more and more people are turning toward medication. While this can be an effective way to manage the symptoms of ADHD, it can also be harmful. Here’s a closer look at the role genetics play in ADHD treatment and how we can help.
Statistics show that, among children with ADHD, approximately 75% are on a medication-based treatment. This number is even higher for young adults, with 85% claiming to use drugs to treat the condition. While medication can help deter the effects of ADHD, it can be difficult to choose the right type. Patients are presented with an overwhelming amount of options, most of which fall into one of two categories:
While stimulants tend to be more effective than non-stimulants, they also come with more side effects. Most doctors start by prescribing one of 29 FDA-approved stimulant drugs, which may be adjusted over the course of treatment. After some time, if the patient does not seem to benefit from the stimulant, then they may transition to a non-stimulant.
Sometimes, side effects occur because the patient is on the wrong dosage or doesn’t follow their doctor’s instructions. However, in many cases, patients have no control over how their body will respond to a drug — rather, it’s determined by genetics.
Found in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), genes are inherited from our parents. They play a huge role in our lives, influencing everything from appearance and personality traits to behavior and health. One of the most important functions of genes is building proteins called enzymes, which are in charge of metabolizing (or breaking down) medication.
Just like how every person looks different, everybody’s enzymes react differently to certain drugs. While one individual may be able to metabolize a medication with ease, another might struggle to break down the substance. When an enzyme reacts too quickly, the drug does not have the chance to be effective — when it reacts too slowly, the drug is left in the body and causes harmful side effects.
While we cannot necessarily control our genes, we can learn more about them. Genetic testing for ADHD medication examines how a person’s enzymes metabolize certain medications, allowing them to make more informed, effective choices.
Genetic testing for ADHD medication is fairly straightforward — in most cases, a sample of blood is taken intravenously and tested separately. A DNA swab test for ADHD medication is also an option. While genetic testing for ADHD won’t necessarily tell you the exact medication you should choose, it will help narrow down the choices and prevent your doctor from prescribing an ineffective or harmful drug.
Even if your current medication is working, genetic testing can help prepare you for making future treatment decisions.
Taking care of your health is easier said than done, especially when you don’t even know what your health requirements are. By giving you essential knowledge about your body and metabolism rates, ADHD genetic testing can help you narrow down your medication options and select the treatment that is best for your overall well-being.
At ClarityX, we believe that every person with ADHD deserves immediate access to high-quality treatment — there’s no reason why you should experiment with different drugs and put your body through a myriad of side effects just to find one that works. That’s why we offer a comprehensive mental wellness test that examines your genetic variations and helps pinpoint the best medication and dosage for you. Contact us today to learn more!