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Personalized medicine in psychiatry: problems and promises

Uzoezi Ozomaro1, Claes Wahlestedt123 and Charles B Nemeroff123*

Author affiliations

1 University of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA

2 Center for Therapeutic Innovation, Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA

3 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Medicine 2013, 11:132  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-132

Published: 16 May 2013


The central theme of personalized medicine is the premise that an individual’s unique physiologic characteristics play a significant role in both disease vulnerability and in response to specific therapies. The major goals of personalized medicine are therefore to predict an individual’s susceptibility to developing an illness, achieve accurate diagnosis, and optimize the most efficient and favorable response to treatment. The goal of achieving personalized medicine in psychiatry is a laudable one, because its attainment should be associated with a marked reduction in morbidity and mortality. In this review, we summarize an illustrative selection of studies that are laying the foundation towards personalizing medicine in major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. In addition, we present emerging applications that are likely to advance personalized medicine in psychiatry, with an emphasis on novel biomarkers and neuroimaging.

Major depressive disorder; Schizophrenia; Personalized medicine; Psychiatric hereditability; Epigenetics; Environmental factors; Endophenotypes; Pharmacogenomics; Neuroimaging genetics