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Worth doing neurotransmitter testing?


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Hello everyone, sorry to be asking yet more questions but I did a forum search and still can't work this one out.

 

I'm thinking of trying SSRIs, but would like, if possible, to get some idea of how I actually am for neurotransmitters before risking it - I want to at least minimise the risk of it turning out that I'm one of those PANS patients who actually have too much serotonin already and get much worse on SSRIs. (It's very bad at the moment and what it would be like if it gets worse doesn't bear thinking about!)

 

I did have an OATs test done 2 years ago. The results of that say

Homovanillic (HVA) 3.9 (high)

Vanillylmandelic (VMA) 1.5

HVA / VMA Ratio 2.5 (high)

5-Hydroxyindoleacetic (5-HIAA) 0.37 (below average but just within normal range)

Quinolinic 1.3

Kynurenic 1.9

Quinolinic / 5-HIAA Ratio 3.4 (high)

Which, according to the accompanying report, means high dopamine and low-ish serotonin.

 

What I'd like to know, please, is: given that I've already got this, do you think it's worthwhile doing the dedicated urine test for neurotransmitters that I've seen mentioned on here? Or a fresh OATs test for that matter, since that was two years ago and many attempted treatments have come and gone since then (though no massive change in symptoms, except that I think they're worse now than they were then)? (Bearing in mind also that we're paying for it ourselves - I don't know what the neurotransmitter test costs.)

 

And how reliable/recognised are either of these tests, anyway?

 

Many thanks,

Wombat140

Edited by Wombat140
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Thanks Qannie. (I can't find anything called exactly "Genocept", I'm assuming you mean the Genecept test by Genomind?) But would it be any use to an ordinary family doctor who doesn't know anything about genetics?

Also, how much does it COST? Maddeningly, the website doesn't say anywhere! (We don't have health insurance. Most people don't in this country as we don't usually need it.)

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My daughter's psychiatrist uses Genesight testinghttps://genesight.com/

my daughter had a Genova Diagnostics Detoxi-profile done many years ago byher integrative med doctor,so we did nto do Genesight. I know that it has a sliding scale ( you pay based on your income) but I am not sure how it would work for someone not in the US.

The highest cost is around $300, I think. I believe it comes with a dummy proof list of what meds to use caution on (literally- green, yellow and red list- like a traffic light)

 

Did you try anafranil before? this has been a relative winner in our household.

 

Best Wishes, Wombat!

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Thanks powpow and qannie47, I've e-mailed both firms to ask whether they'll ship to this country.

 

From what it says on the website, though, it looks as if what they look at is purely how well you metabolise the drug itself - but not whether your serotonin is actually likely to be high or low in the first place. You see the problem? Those tests could ascertain that the drug would do exactly what it does in a typical person - i.e. raise serotonin by exactly the expected amount - but, if my serotonin was actually high rather than low, that would be the very opposite of what it needed to do. Of course knowing whether you're more or less sensitive to SSRIs or likely to get side effects is useful information, but it's not what I'm most worried about. Basically, I don't want to meet the same fate as Sammy Maloney.

 

Can anyone say anything about my original question - whether an OATs test result from two years ago is likely to be as good a guide to what my serotonin level is as I'm going to get, or whether I should have another OATs test or some other kind of test for that?

Edited by Wombat140
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The OATS test will give a very general guesstimate in my opinion. It does not actually measure transmitter levels... Yes it is the Genecept test done by Genomind. If you are interested, PM me, and I send you a copy of my son's results so that you can see what it actually looks like, results wise...

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