Genetic testing for depression welcomed

A MAJORITY of Australians thinks genetic testing for depression in susceptible people is worthwhile – but those undergoing testing should be counselled before making lifestyle changes, a researcher says.

Dr Alex Wilde, research associate in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales, told the conference that in a telephone study of 1000 adults, 63% were interested in getting a genetic test from a doctor if they were susceptible to depression.

Despite having the advantages and disadvantages of testing explained to them before answering questions about genetic testing, 40% still said they were interested in direct-to-consumer tests.

More than 80% of respondents said they would start therapies or courses to develop better strategies to cope with stress and modify potential life stressors if they had a genetic disposition to depression.

Dr Wilde, who was first author on the study, said the enthusiasm of the respondents