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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on August 5, 2010

Prescribing medication always involves a calculated risk. An adverse drug reaction may occur or the medication may fail to work because of particular body chemistry.

A new study suggests a common electroencephalography (EEG) test may hold the key to predicting whether a person will respond to certain prescribed drugs, particularly those related to psychiatric conditions.

Engineering and health sciences researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada applied machine learning to EEG patterns and successfully predicted how patients with schizophrenia would respond to clozapine therapy.

Clozapine is recognized as an effective treatment for chronic medication-resistant schizophrenia but can produce serious side effects such as seizures, cardiac arrhythmias or bone marrow suppression. Some patients can develop blood problems that are life-threatening. Weekly to monthly blood sampling is required.

“Some people can suffer terrible side effects from clozapine,” said Dr. Gary Hasey, associate professor at McMaster and director of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation laboratory at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Mood Disorders Clinic in Hamilton.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/08/05/ecg-predicts-success-of-medications-used-in-schizophrenia/16452.html



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