The study of the genetic factors that influence drug response and toxicity testing is called pharmacogenetics. Genetic testing, gut health testing, and other optional genetic testing can provide valuable information to both individuals and healthcare providers.

What Is Pharmacogenetic Testing?

Genetic testing can provide information on an individual’s risk for certain genetic conditions, as well as their ancestry and other traits. 

This information can be useful in identifying potential health risks, allowing individuals to take steps to prevent or manage these conditions. It can also help healthcare providers develop personalized treatment plans based on an individual’s genetic makeup. 

Testing can determine how an individual may respond to certain medications based on their genetic makeup. This can be especially useful for individuals who have had adverse reactions to medications in the past or those who have been unsuccessful in finding a medication that works for them. These people might be anti-medication because of previous negative experiences, and we at Corner Canyon Health Centers use this testing to help clients have a good experience.

Why Use Genetic Testing?

Pharmacogenetic testing has several functions:

  • By providing personalized information on an individual’s health and genetic makeup, healthcare providers can develop more targeted and effective treatment plans 
  • This can lead to better health outcomes and improved quality of life for individuals
  • It can potentially reduce healthcare costs by minimizing trial-and-error approaches to treatment 
  • Healthcare providers can determine which medications are likely to be effective and which should be avoided, leading to more personalized and effective treatment plans

It’s important to note that these types of testing should:

  • Always be performed under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional
  • Have results interpreted in the context of an individual’s overall health and medical history

Benefits for Patients

The benefits of pharmacogenetic testing are numerous:

  • For clients, the results can provide valuable information about how their body may respond to certain medications, helping to guide treatment decisions and potentially minimize the risk of adverse reactions. 
  • Testing can help to identify medications that may be more effective for the individual, allowing for a more personalized and targeted approach to treatment.

Benefits for Medical Providers

  • Pharmacogenetic testing can provide important information that can guide treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes. 
  • By having a clearer understanding of an individual’s genetic makeup and how it may impact medication response, medical providers can make more informed decisions about medication selection, dosing, and monitoring.
  • Testing can help minimize the risk of adverse reactions and improve the effectiveness of treatment

Benefits for Psychiatric Treatment

  • Pharmacogenetic testing is particularly valuable in the context of psychiatric treatment, where medication selection and dosing can be challenging due to individual differences in response and potential side effects
  • By using such testing to guide treatment decisions, medical providers can tailor treatment to the individual, potentially improving treatment outcomes and minimizing the risk of adverse reactions.

Gut Health Testing 

Research has shown that the gut microbiome has a significant impact on overall health and well-being. For example, studies have found that imbalances in the gut microbiome can contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and other digestive disorders. 

The gut microbiome has also been linked to mental health, with studies suggesting that imbalances in the gut microbiome may be linked to depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. One study was conducted with mice that had been bred to have no bacteria in their stomachs. Bacteria from humans with significant anxiety was implanted in these mice and they quickly began displaying symptoms that are classified as anxiety in mice.

Gut Biome, or Microbiome DNA testing can provide information on the health of an individual’s digestive system, including the presence of beneficial and harmful bacteria, as well as any imbalances that may be present. This information can be used to identify potential causes of digestive symptoms, such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. It also helps our providers develop personalized dietary recommendations and treatment plans to promote gut health. 

Corner Canyon Health Centers uses this in conjunction with our gut-brain diet and Nutritional Psychiatry programs to assess potential problems that might be affecting mental and physical health, and as guidance for correcting those that require more than our very healthy diet.

In addition to the health benefits, microbiome testing can also help to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of gut health. By providing a personalized report of an individual’s gut microbiome composition, individuals can gain a better understanding of how their diet, lifestyle, and other factors may be impacting their gut health.

GARS Genetic Testing

Genetic Addiction Risk Score, With Mental Health Assessments

The Genetic Addiction Risk Assessment (GARS) is a genetic testing service designed to assess an individual’s genetic predisposition to various behavioral and neurological disorders. 

It initially had a focus on identifying the addictive substances that an individual would be genetically predisposed to use based on their biological markers, as well as personality traits that could go with that. 

The test has been in continual scientific development and now has the ability to assess a range of genetic markers associated with disorders such as ADHD, autism, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders and schizophrenia. 

When Corner Canyon Health Centers began using the GARS test it was primarily to help with client’s denial about substance abuse, and to help with the stigma that is usually associated with addiction. Addiction is often assumed to be a character defect, defiance to society’s norms, or to have many other labels, and the GARS test could point out the genetic components that the individual has, which can reduce stigma.

The GARS test now is integrated into all of the other work Corner Canyon Health Centers does with the gut-brain diet, nutritional psychiatry and health in general. For example, the report may indicate that low dopamine is a potential cause of alcoholism, but dopamine is also critical to healthy functioning of the brain and mental health. 

The gut produces up to 50% of dopamine, and our gut biome DNA test informs our gut-brain diet, which can work to correct the dopamine deficiency naturally, or with supplements if indicated by the testing. So, the GARS test can help identify problems and supplement the other parts of our program that address these problems.

The GARS test is administered through a simple cheek swab that is sent to a laboratory for analysis. The analysis assesses specific genetic markers associated with various behavioral and neurological disorders. The results of the test are then reported back to the individual and their medical provider in a detailed report outlining the individual’s genetic predisposition to various disorders. 

This test provides individuals and their medical providers with valuable information about the individual’s genetic predisposition to various disorders. This can help medical providers develop more personalized treatment plans tailored to the individual’s specific needs. For example, if an individual is found to be genetically predisposed to ADHD, their medical provider may recommend a treatment plan that includes behavioral therapy and/or medication.

It’s important to note, however, that genetic testing should not be used in isolation to diagnose or treat behavioral or neurological disorders. Rather, genetic testing should be used as a tool to inform treatment decisions and to help medical providers develop more personalized treatment plans.

Corner Canyon Welcomes You 

If you or a loved one are looking for a compassionate space to address mental health issues, reach out to our Admissions team now at Corner Canyon Health Centers.

We are specifically formulated to offer personalized therapeutic interventions to adult individuals with mental health disorders.

We provide a comprehensive Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that offers clients the opportunity to attend group therapy sessions three to five times a week.

We work with most major insurance policies

We get reimbursement for 85% of our clients *We don’t take Medicaid or Medicare

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We do not accept Medicare or Medicaid.

We are a private pay program, and are out of network with most insurance companies. We have success securing single case agreements with many companies, however, the rate of payment on those varies with the insurance company and we cannot guarantee what they might pay. We will run a Verification of Benefits (VOB) when we receive your insurance information so you have a general idea of what your insurance policy may reimburse, however, that is an estimate based on what all people insured by your company have received from your insurance, not a guarantee of what they will pay in your case.

On average, Corner Canyon’s clients receive a portion of insurance reimbursement 85-90% of the time, but the amount varies from minimal repayment to full reimbursement. We have a team of insurance advocates who are invested in helping families secure as much reimbursement as possible.

Fill out our Online Application here or call us at 877-226-0317 and you will receive a return call, text, or email quickly, depending on what you specify. We want you to have the best experience possible with us from start to finish, and responsive communication is part of that.

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Liz Lund, MPA

Liz is originally from lush green Washington State. She is a life enthusiast and a huge fan of people. Liz has always loved learning why people are the way they are. She moved to UT in 2013 and completed her bachelors degree in Psychology in 2016. After college Liz worked at a residential treatment center and found that she was not only passionate about people, but also administration. Liz is recently finished her MPA in April 2022. Liz loves serving people and is excited and looking forward to learning about; and from our clients here at Corner Canyon.
When Liz is not busy working she love being outdoors, eating ice cream, taking naps, and spending time with her precious baby girl and sweet husband.