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Are Trial-and-Error Meds a Thing of the Past?
"My doctor says there's a new test to determine if medication will help a child. What is it?"
Last year, a research team at the Medical University of South Carolina reported that it discovered a gene mutation directly involved in the metabolism of methylphenidate (Ritalin).
The researchers suggested that, some day, it might be possible for a genetic test to determine whether methylphenidate will be effective for a child with ADHD.
It often takes a long time to develop inexpensive and convenient clinical applications from basic research findings. For now, we still determine which stimulant will work best by trial and experience.
[Editor's Note: Read "Mutation Related to ADHD Drug Metabolism Discovered" at http://frd.musc.edu.]
Larry Silver, M.D., is the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities. He is also a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C.