Physicians and scientists at the University of Utah and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have used a combination of cutting-edge medical treatment and whole genome sequencing to successfully treat a 37-year-old man who was completely disabled by obsessive-compulsive disorder (#OCD). His life was controlled by #anxiety, ritualistic behaviors, and paranoia, such that he couldn't work or maintain normal relationships. First, the researchers implanted electrodes deep in the man's brain, making him one of only 100 individuals around the world who has received #DeepBrainStimulation for OCD. The researchers also sequenced the man's genome and identified several gene variants that contributed to his OCD, as well as several other mutations that impacted unrelated factors like eyesight. With both of these approaches, the researchers were able to dramatically reduce the man's OCD symptoms and return him to a normal level of functioning, according to results published in the new journal PeerJ. The researchers say that integrating such detailed genetic data into the man's electronic medical records has been extremely difficult, which scientists say needs to be fixed so this kind of information can be easily accessed and used by physicians.
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Journal article: Integrating precision medicine in the study and clinical treatment of a severely mentally ill person. PeerJ, 2013.