Genetic testing could be the first step toward preventing the negative effects of uninformed or improper psychedelic use. Today in the US, psychedelic is close to gaining wide acceptance for application in treating different medical conditions. With that, there’s a need for measures to evaluate the advantages patients will receive, as well as the possible adverse effects they may experience.
HaluGen Life Sciences in Vancouver has since 2021 released its DNA testing kit. This is a step to revolutionize psychedelics prescription patterns for mental health conditions. HaluGen seeks to use its genetic testing kits to provide clinicians with an effective way to assess patient’s reactions to psychedelic drugs. The kits can provide insights into how psychedelics like psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, LSD, and ketamine affect people.
Psychedelic Genetic Testing to Reduce Harm
Psychedelic genetic test is designed to help clinicians effectively determine patient response to psychedelic substances. People who want to be careful when taking psychedelics can also purchase these kits. Basically, it’s a great option for effective harm reduction
People who take psychedelic substances are mostly psychologically safe. However, there is still some risk associated with these substances, among which include increased blood pressure and heart rate. There’s also the potential for cardiac adverse events when on psychedelic substances, especially in large doses. Weakened kidney function or liver are also events to keep an eye on.
Another thing worth noting is that Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) occurs after taking a psychedelic like psilocybin. HPPD symptoms include perceptual changes that can last for up to a month after taking a psychedelic substance. Also, this is not linked to any harm to your nervous system or physical adjustments. The prevalence is still unknown, and the disorder is a rare one that requires prompt attention if experienced.
How the Psychedelic Genetic Test Work
HaluGen’s pre-screening platform provides different ways to identify the changes in the effects of these substances. They also assess the long- and short-term genetic risk profiles. Users simply purchase the genetic test kit, which includes a cheek swap, and send it back for examination.
The company will perform an assessment of the cheek swab DNA sample while the users complete questionnaires. These questionnaires help to unveil potential factors based on lifestyle and family background.
There are five genetic variants that are examined by the psychedelic genetic test. This helps determine an individual’s risk of developing mental health conditions like psychosis and schizophrenia. The screening also identifies gene variations that can impact serotonin receptor density, ketamine metabolism, and other factors.
The genes tested include:
- DISC1: The company highlights that making changes to DISC1 genes can increase the vulnerability to developing different mental health conditions. This includes schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and psychosis.
- NRG1: The company highlights a link between the NRG1 gene and mental health conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and psychosis.
- C4A: C4A variants can cause disorganized synaptic pruning, increasing the potential to develop mental health conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and psychosis.
- CYP2B6: This test how ketamine is metabolized within the bloodstream.
- HTRA2: Determines psychedelic sensitivity.
Another genetic target forms the basis for the Classical Psychedelic Report, which predicts sensitivity to psychedelics like psilocybin, DMT, and LSD.
The Classical Psychedelic Report
The classical psychedelic report analysis the level of sensitivity to serotonin of an individual. The HTR2A gene partially determines how you experience a trip when consuming a psychedelic like DMT, LSD, and psilocybin. The gene mainly influences the expression of the 5-HTR2A receptor. This receptor binds to serotonin in the brain and sends signals, thereby giving rise to hallucination and other side effects of psychedelic substances.
In general, this implies that a great amount of the receptor can heighten sensibility to the effects of hallucinogenic substances. With that, there’s the need to lower doses, especially at the beginning of the treatment. Therefore, people with this gene should be extra careful before starting psychedelic therapy.
Benefits of the Psychedelic Genetic Testing Kit
Many benefits come with maximizing the genetic test for psychedelic therapy safety risk. This particularly relates to how drugs are administered and for a more successful therapeutic outcome. Since it determines the presence of genes and how they affect the likelihood of a negative side effect, doctors can easily individualize treatments.
Psychedelic genetic testing kits have so many promises for psychedelic therapies, especially in reducing associated risks. Research is being explored to maximize the potential of these genetic testing kits, and soon there will be a remarkable advancement in psychedelic treatment approaches.
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