Precision medicine in mental health - one size really doesn’t fit all

pharmaphorum podcast episode 118a

Precision medicine is a hot topic area at the moment – so too is the field of psychedelics for mental health. And then, there’s precision psychiatry.

The state of the mental health of the global population is, fair to say, not in great condition. Globally, 615 million people, or almost 10% of the worldwide population, are currently living with a mental health condition. And more than 50% (320 million people) suffer from major depressive disorder (MDD).

In this episode of the pharmaphorum podcast, web editor Nicole Raleigh welcomed Dr Hans Eriksson, chief medical officer at HMNC Brain Health, a precision psychiatry biopharma company, to discuss his work exploring current studies into the use of ketamine in mental health, HMNC Brain Health having last year announced topline results from a Phase 2 study looking at a take-at-home, oral ketamine option for treatment resistant depression (or TRD).

Having originally been involved in the patient contact side of things, with consultant psychiatry, Eriksson was, however, stressed by the standardised treatment methods available – even in a broad indication like depression, where one patient can have many symptoms. One size, as is much discussed of late, really doesn’t fit all.

Modern psychiatric treatments  mostly coming to light in the 50s for both depression and schizophrenia  built on a common theme of modulating neurotransmission, once a successful concept and major step forward. However, industry didn’t look for alternative mechanisms of action following that for quite some time, but focused on refining this initial treatment approach. The factors of tolerability and safety were the main considerations, as opposed to efficacy.

Now, thankfully, things have changed. Listen in to learn more about the growing field of precision psychiatry thanks to the marvellous advancements in genetic testing, as well as the comparative potential of ketamine and psychedelics within the field of mental health.

You can listen to episode 118a of the pharmaphorum podcast in the player below, download the episode to your computer, or find it - and subscribe to the rest of the series - in iTunes, Spotify, acast, Stitcher, and Podbean.