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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Mental Health Channel
Reported February 14, 2013

Saliva Sleuths: Spotting Mental Illness in Your Spit

SEWELL, N.J. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- It’s believed one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. Patients can spend years trying to find the right drug cocktail to keep their symptoms at bay, while suffering serious side effects. Now a unique test could help change that.

For Virginia von Rhine; art is like a meditation.

“The chatter, the duh duh there 24/7, the chatter goes away because I’m so focused,” Virginia von Rhine (Diagnosed with Depression), told Ivanhoe.

It’s the only thing that’s brought this antique dealer peace. She’s suffered with major depressive disorder and anxiety since the second grade.

“Forever trying, trying, trying to find the happy pill,” said Virginia von Rhine.

Clinical depression affects nearly 15 million Americans, with two-thirds of patients failing to adequately respond to a first line of anti-depressants and 30 to 40-percent of patients still trying to find relief after three more interventions.

“And that’s a huge number of individuals in our country,” Laura G. Leahy, M.S.N, P.M.H-C.N.S/F.N.P Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at the APNSolutions, LLC in Sewell, N.J., told Ivanhoe.

Psychiatric nurse practitioner Laura Leahy says, a new genetic test could help.

“I refer to it as a spit test for my patients,” said Leahy.

The Genecept Assay test uses a patient’s saliva to look for genetic biomarkers associated with depression, helping doctors predict which anti-depressants are most likely to work.

“And say, yes you are an ultrarapid metabolizer and that is why you are more likely to have significant negative side effects, not respond to such and such medication,” explained Leahy.

For Virginia, the test helped doctors put her on a new course of treatment.

“I didn’t have it for all those years, but I have it now,” stated Virginia von Rhine.

And much like her new tattoo, she now feels like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

“I look at it and I, I know, you know, that I’m a new creature,” said Virginia von Rhine.

The test can be used for patients with a range of difficult to treat psychiatric conditions, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, OCD, and ADHD. Trials are currently underway for the test; go to our website for enrollment information.

 For additional research on this article, click here.

Sign up for a free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs called First to Know by clicking here.

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Andrew McIntosh at

For More Information, Please Contact:

Laura G Leahy, MSN, PMH-CNS/FNP
APNSolutions, LLC
123 Egg Harbor Road, Suite 703 Tower Commons
Sewell, NJ. 08080



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