Bi-polar test?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by witzend, May 5, 2008.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I saw this on the news today and wonder how those of us in the trenches feel about the possibility of having access to a genetic test that predicts BiPolar (BP), and one that predicts patient response to Serotonin based drugs. I'm not sure... Although I hate the "stab in the dark" way we seem to deal with things now.

    As an aside, a bill was signed into federal law last week that makes it illegal to discriminate based upon the results of a DNA test.

    There's only one company that is offering these tests. Maybe someone who is more able than I am to separate the dry facts from the hyperbole will be able to give some more insight?
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I read the info, and the model report, and what I got from it is this...1) you must be Caucasian, because they haven't studied any other ethnic group; 2) if you test positive for the gene, but don't meet the DSM symptoms, it's not bi-polar; 3) if you test positive for the gene, then certain medications may work better for you than others; and 4) family history plays a big part in the bi-polar determination.

    Although I suspect Miss KT is bi-polar, I personally wouldn't have this test done. I'm curious to know if others got the same basic info from this, or if I missed some things.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Mary. I just get so frustrated living with and seeing the way we all struggle to find answers. I honestly don't know what I would do if I had this concern for one of my kids.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would completely NOT have a test like this done. We don't know enough about genetics, these disorders, or much else in the field of psychiatry for me to feel comfortable with this. If insurance companies start offering them, NO WAY will I support this for a family member. There is WAY too much discrimination, and a federal law won't mean jack until MUCH legal work is done, and court work. And then hte insurance cos and other groups will just find some other way to justify discriminating against our kids.


  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I can see your point as well, Susie.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I've been thinking about this question since you put it out there- it is a good question and I hope the research can someday lead to a "test" that tells us for sure if the issue is bipolar or not.

    The only answers for myself that I can come up with are that if it isn't preventable (and right now it isn't), I don't think I would want to know if my kid could maybe someday come down with a problem that isn't a problem right now. And I sure wouldn't want any test results like that becoming accessible to sd, government, etc.

    That being said, with the small percentage of doubt that I have left in my mind over my difficult child's current diagnosis (because it is a problem now in his situation), if he could take a test now and determine if this is somehow in his genetic makeup, it appears that it would help.

    I'm trying to think of it like cancer- if a person's current evaluations were inconclusive about whether or not a person had cancer, but they thought the person did. Would it help to know if the tendency for cancer was in their genetic makeup?

    I'm not sure I understand this- how can they find a genetic factor for it but not come up with a test to determine if they actually have it?