A Gaze into the Future of Psychopharmacology

dna_fingerprintI got to wondering one day last week about the future of psychopharmacology in the 21st century. Here’s what I envision unfolding: Psychopharmacology will be directed toward the observable and measurable characteristics that define mental illnesses by gene expression, RNA fingerprint, brain mapping, brain imaging and DSM categories with a track record of medication responsiveness.

I can imagine a day when a clinician, faced with a client who has major depression, will be able to order a gene scan that will predict response to a certain medication. Advances in neuroscience will clarify the underlying pathology of mental disorders thereby paving the way for taking the “guesswork” out of what medication will work for whom. This will ease the burden on medication prescribers considerably.

Finally, gone will be days of vague and undifferentiated diagnoses that rely heavily on client self-report.

This is my take, what do you think?

Joseph Wegmann, R.Ph., LCSW is a licensed clinical pharmacist and a clinical social worker with more than thirty years of experience in the field of psychopharmacology. His diverse professional background in psychopharmacology and counseling affords him a unique perspective on medication management issues. In addition to consulting with numerous psychiatric facilities, he has presented psychopharmacology seminars to thousands of clinicians in 46 states.

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