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Psychopharmacology in Diverse Populations---Genetics, Epigenetics, and Resilience

CE Credit: 1

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Length: 50 minutes

Session offered by Division 55. The differential response of ethnic minorities to certain psychotropic medications raises important concerns for both research and practice. Research indicates that many ethnic minorities respond to lower doses of many psychiatric medications, and may experience a greater number of side effects even at the lower doses. Much focus on the explanation of such differences pertains to drug-metabolizing enzymes and polymorphic variants; however, non-genetic factors may be responsible for the difference in psychotropic medication response. Considering that response to psychopharmacotherapy is multifaceted, there are inter-individual variations in pharmacokinetic activity within ethnic groups, which may not entirely account for the difference in medication response. This research offers an opportunity to attempt to understand the complex interactions of the environment, sociocultural determinants and pharmacodynamic mechanisms that may affect antipsychotic medication response in ethnic minorities. A model of understanding will be proposed of the impact of epigenetic mediation on environmental influences while highlighting how culturally determined attitudes play a significant role in altering pharmacotherapeutic response to antipsychotic medication. Suggestions for integrated methods of treatment with appropriate cultural interpretations for ethnic minorities will be proposed as well.

Learning Objective 1
Describe general principles of the relatively new field of ethnopsychopharmacology.

Learning Objective 2
Identify the primarily genetic influences that impact the effectiveness of treatment with psychotropic medications.

Learning Objective 3
Summarize the moderating effects of resilience and the emerging data on post-traumatic growth in the treatment of acute trauma with psychotropic medication.

Joan B. Read, PhD

Supplementary Materials

  • PPT psychopharm in diverse pops