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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Therapygenetics: Using genetic markers to predict response to psychological treatment for mood and anxiety disorders

Kathryn J Lester* and Thalia C Eley

Author Affiliations

MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK

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Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2013, 3:4  doi:10.1186/2045-5380-3-4

Published: 7 February 2013

Abstract

Considerable variation is evident in response to psychological therapies for mood and anxiety disorders. Genetic factors alongside environmental variables and gene-environment interactions are implicated in the etiology of these disorders and it is plausible that these same factors may also be important in predicting individual differences in response to psychological treatment. In this article, we review the evidence that genetic variation influences psychological treatment outcomes with a primary focus on mood and anxiety disorders. Unlike most past work, which has considered prediction of response to pharmacotherapy, this article reviews recent work in the field of therapygenetics, namely the role of genes in predicting psychological treatment response. As this is a field in its infancy, methodological recommendations are made and opportunities for future research are identified.

Keywords:
Genetics; Psychological therapy; Treatment response; Gene × environment interaction; Therapygenetics