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The Role of Genetics in Mental Health

Discover the role of genetics in mental health treatment and how this awareness can lead to personalized wellness plans for sustainable healing.
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Integrative Mental Health Care Tailored to Genetics in Mental Health

You are more than the sum of your mental health symptoms and challenges.

This is why our knowledgeable and compassionate Mind Body Optimization (MBO) team takes an integrative approach to mental healthcare. We consider all aspects of a person’s well-being.

Genetics in Mental Health

How Genetics Influence Treatment Planning

As research continues to demonstrate, genetics play a significant role in mental health outcomes. This highlights the importance of understanding an individual’s genetic predispositions.

At MBO, we meet you where you’re at. We provide tailored treatment plans accounting for both biological and environmental factors influencing mental health.

Our Approach to Genetics in Mental Health

Located in Southlake and Plano, Texas, MBO delivers comprehensive outpatient mental health treatment. What makes MBO unique is the integration of traditional psychotherapy with advanced medical testing. We couple this integrative approach with holistic treatments for whole-person care.
Our treatment methods are informed by the latest research. This includes the growing body of evidence involving the role of genetics in mental health.
By factoring genetics into clinical assessments and treatment plans, MBO works to identify the biological components of an individual’s mental health profile for more targeted, effective care.

How Understanding Genetics in Mental Health Care is Important

At MBO, the value of understanding a client’s genetic background is paramount. The following are taken into consideration during mental health treatment planning:
  • The significant role of genetics in mental health conditions 
  • How genes affect aspects of brain function
  • Specific genes tied to risk for conditions like depression, addiction, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia
  • The value of genetic testing to identify biological factors influencing mental illness
  • Incorporating genetic insights into tailored treatment plans along with other holistic modalities
Understanding your genetics in mental health empowers personalized mental health treatment for lasting wellness.

The Role of Genetics in Mental Health

Research over the past decade has greatly expanded our knowledge on the influence of genetics in mental health. We know that environment and experiences play a key role.
However, genetics account for around 40% of the risk factors for developing a mental illness.1

How Genes Affect Mental Functioning

Genes affect the following aspects of brain function tied to mental health:
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Hormones
  • Brain circuitry
  • Stress response

Examples of Mental Health Conditions Affected by Genetics

Variations in these genes can make a person more vulnerable to conditions such as the following:2
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Addiction
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Depression

Variations in the serotonin transporter (SERT) gene can reduce serotonin activity, affecting mood regulation. The FKBP5 gene regulates stress response pathways while variants confer depression vulnerability.
Inflammation-related genes like the following examples also pose risks:3
  • IL6
  • TNF
  • CRP 

Addiction and Dopamine Signaling

Genes influencing dopamine signaling in the brain’s reward pathways affect susceptibility to addiction. These can include genes such as DRD2 and ANKK1.
Gene variants such as COMT affect impulse control and response inhibition. These types of genes, which modulate alcohol and drug metabolism, may determine addiction propensity.4

Bipolar Disorder and the DISC1 Gene

The DISC1 gene impacts neurodevelopment. This plays a pivotal role in forming brain circuitry. Altered DISC1 function impairs connectivity between mood-regulating areas. This contributes to mood instability.5

Schizophrenia and the DISC1 Gene

DISC1 also determines the risk for schizophrenia. Neuregulin-1 is responsible for regulating the following functions:
  • Neurotransmission
  • Oligodendrocyte function
  • Connectivity

How Other Genes Affect Schizophrenia

Numerous other genes affecting the following components are involved in schizophrenia susceptibility:6
  • Dopamine 
  • Serotonin
  • GABA
  • Glutamate systems 

Huntington’s Disease and Genetics in Mental Health

Additionally, some genetic neurological factors directly lead to psychiatric problems. For example, Huntington’s disease involves mutations causing nerve cell degeneration.
As the disease progresses, individuals may develop psychiatric symptoms such as:7
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessiveness
  • Paranoia 
Gene testing allows early intervention before symptom onset.

Understanding the Interplay of Illness and Genetics in Mental Health

Understanding the complex interplay between genetics and mental illness is important. It empowers personalized treatment approaches targeting specific biological pathways. MBO leverages genetic insights for integrative patient care.

Tailoring an Integrative Approach Involving Genetics in Mental Health Treatment

At Mind Body Optimization, treatment plans integrate genetic insights. We also leverage other biological, psychological, and lifestyle factors impacting mental health to create a holistic wellness plan.

Genetic Predispositions

Genes affecting brain chemistry, development, the stress response, and more have been tied to psychiatric conditions.

Hormone Imbalance Testing (Coming Soon)

Hormonal dysregulation frequently accompanies mental conditions. We may test the following functions and more in treatment assessment:
  • Thyroid
  • Sex hormones
  • Cortisol levels
This is to identify imbalances exacerbating or mimicking psychiatric disorders. Tailored treatment like hormone therapy or supplements can restore balance for genetics in mental health.

Gut Health

The gut-brain axis links gastrointestinal and mental health. Correcting issues like leaky gut, IBS, or food sensitivities may improve psychiatric symptoms.

Past Medical History

Our facility gathers medical history to identify biological components during treatment. The following factors may influence a mental condition:
  • Past conditions or family history involving genetics in mental health 
  • Surgeries and surgery recovery
  • Injuries with long-term healing trajectories
  • Major infections 
  • Any toxin exposures
MBO gathers a thorough medical history to identify biological components in illnesses.

Adverse Childhood Events

The following events heighten psychiatric disorder risk later in life:
  • Early childhood trauma
  • Neglect or abuse
  • Family dysfunction
Understanding developmental trauma guides MBO’s trauma-informed care.

Current Stressors

Ongoing stressors can trigger or worsen psychiatric disorders. Stressors can include these examples:
  • Difficult work demands
  • Financial strain
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Caregiving burdens
  • Discrimination
MBO teaches stress management while addressing underlying biological and genetic factors in mental health.

Substance Addiction

Mind-altering substances interact with mental health in complex ways. MBO assesses substance addiction history. This allows us to understand genetic risks and integrate addiction treatment.

Diet and Nutrition

Diet and nutrition are important in the following ways:

  • Attaining balanced gut health
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Regulating hormones
  • Optimizing neurotransmitter functions
Nutrition ties into numerous pathways affecting mental wellness.

Sleep Quality

Disrupted sleep exacerbates most psychiatric disorders. Given sleep’s importance for mental health, strategies for treatment may include the following:
  • Sleep hygiene training
  • Light therapy
  • Supplements

Social Connections

Loneliness and lack of social support raises mental health risks. MBO’s group therapy fosters community. Social coaching builds relationship skills for lasting social bonds.

Holistic Well-Being

A holistic profile informs evidence-based treatment modalities selected for each individual, such as:
  • Psychotherapy treatments
  • Medical care
  • Holistic nursing
  • Health coaching
  • Spiritual counseling
  • Neurofeedback
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Nutritional support (coming soon)
  • Hormone testing (coming soon)
By accounting for both genetic and environmental contributors, MBO identifies the most fitting interventions. These effectively target the root causes perpetuating mental health struggles.

Genetic Testing for Personalized Care

Advances in genetic testing allow for greater personalization of mental healthcare. Analyzing DNA provides objective insights not available through traditional assessments alone.
At Mind Body Optimization, we offer cutting-edge genetic testing from leading providers. These lab partners employ the latest techniques in genetic sequencing and analysis. This allows us to pinpoint biological factors needing attention.

Screening for Variant Genetics

Tests screen for common genetic variants affecting the following:
  • Mental health risks
  • Medication metabolism
  • Nutritional needs

What Does Genetic Screening Help With?

Screening can help identify imbalances in neurotransmitters like the following:
  • Transport of serotonin
  • Synthesis of dopamine
  • Breakdown of GABA
  • Signaling of glutamate

Correcting Genetic Imbalances

Testing identifies issues needing correction through these or other means:
  • Medications
  • Amino acid therapy
  • Vitamin cofactors

Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation driven by genetic risks for overactive immune response can manifest in the following ways:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Brain fog
During chronic inflammation, proinflammatory cytokines cross the blood-brain barrier. This activates microglia cells that damage neurons and neural circuits, impairing mood and cognition.

The Effect of Nutrition and Toxins in Mental Wellness

Impaired capacity to clear environmental toxins and byproducts of metabolism causes accumulation in the body. Toxins are known to worsen psychiatric problems.

Methods of Toxin Elimination

Genetic testing identifies how well the body eliminates toxic exposures, which are labeled in the following ways:
  • Methylation
  • Acetylation
  • Sulfation
  • Glutathione conjugation 

Methylation Issues

Abnormal methylation disturbs the following processes:
  • Neurotransmitter production
  • Hormone regulation
  • Immune function
  • Gene expression
This heightens psychiatric disorder risks.

Nutrients for Methylation Support

Nutrients such as the following counteract methylation issues:8
  • Methylfolate 
  • Methylcobalamin
  • Trimethylglycine

Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies are related to impairing the following functions:
  • Nutrient absorption
  • Cellular transport
  • Body metabolism 
These have far-reaching effects on pathways essential for mental health. Restoring deficient nutrients facilitates proper neurotransmitter activity, detoxification, energy production, and more.

Genetic Components of Medication Efficacy

Pharmacogenomic testing reveals how your genetics impact medication efficacy and side effects. Genetic differences affect the following aspects of drug efficacy:
  • Absorption
  • Distribution
  • Metabolism
  • Excretion
Genetics determine optimal dosing and predict negative drug reactions.

Sustainable Healing Through Genetic Insights

Genes reveal the biological underpinnings of mental health struggles. This provides insights into personalized care, using traditional and holistic modalities for optimal outcomes. Involving genetics in mental health provides a roadmap for sustainable healing.

Targeting Holistic Factors of Genetics in Mental Health

While genes influence mental health risk, lifestyle and environment also play an important role. At MBO, genetic insights guide whole-person healing. Treatment targets how genes affect the body and mind for comprehensive, integrative care.

Genetic Insights into Holistic Healing

At MBO, we address the biological underpinnings revealed through genetic testing. Integrative treatment modalities can directly target genetic risks for optimized outcomes. Lifestyle approaches also buffer environmental impacts on gene expression.

Our team skillfully integrates genetic insights across the following boards:

  • Holistic nursing
  • Psychotherapy
  • Spiritual counseling
  • Health coaching
  • Nutritional support
  • Bodywork
  • Yoga
  • Nature-based therapies
  • Art therapy

Lifestyle and Environmental Influences in Mental Health Regulation

Genetics play a major role in mental health. However, there are also lifestyle and environmental influences to consider in a curated treatment plan.

What Factors Influence Mental Health?

The following lifestyle and environmental factors can impact mental health:
  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Ongoing stressors
  • Nutrition and diet
  • Toxin exposures
  • Substance addiction
  • Sleep disruption
For example, early life trauma epigenetically alters gene expression in ways that last a lifetime. This raises mental illness susceptibility.9

How Do Childhood Experiences Affect Genetics in Mental Health?

Distressing events during childhood can include the following examples:
  • Childhood abuse
  • Childhood neglect
  • Loss of a parent
  • Poverty
These types of events change how genes are formed and how they operate. Traumatic experiences in childhood alter signaling pathways governing stress response, immune function, neurotransmission, and neuroplasticity. Impairment of these functions underlies heightened behavioral health disorder risk.

LIfestyle Habits Affecting Mental Health

Additionally, habits like the following worsen mental health outcomes by exacerbating biological vulnerabilities:
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Recreational drug use
  • Chronic sleep deprivation

Symptoms of Poor Lifestyle Habits

Lifestyle factors may generate the following symptoms:
  • Inflammation
  • Impaired detoxification
  • Disrupted neurotransmitter activity
  • Dysregulated hormones
  • Damage to the gut lining allowing toxins into the bloodstream
  • Brain deprivation of nutrients and oxygen
  • Disturbed circadian rhythms
Understanding lifestyle habits and environmental exposures is important. It allows our practitioners to make specific recommendations targeting pathways affected by genetic risks.

The Importance of a Holistic Approach to Mental Wellness

There is a complex interplay between genetic vulnerabilities, lifestyle, environmental exposures, and mental health. Successfully overcoming psychiatric disorders requires addressing all components. Healing is a process requiring self-compassion and concerted effort across body, mind and spirit.

Find the Answers You're Searching for At MBO

At Mind Body Optimization, our genetics-guided holistic care meets you where you are on your wellness journey. We develop treatment plans responsive to all aspects of your well-being.
This targets the root causes perpetuating mental distress. Our integrative methods empower you to achieve lasting relief.
Genetics in Mental Health

Genetics-Guided Care for Lasting Wellness at Mind Body Optimization

Genes play a major role in the onset and course of psychiatric conditions. Lifestyle and environment also have a strong influence. By uncovering clients’ genetic predispositions, Mind Body Optimization develops personalized treatment plans addressing biological vulnerabilities.

Our Formula for Successful Treatment

Genetics-guided care empowers individuals with objective insights into sources of mental distress. At MBO, we combine the following modalities in treatment:
  • Genetic influences 
  • Holistic nursing
  • Advanced medical care
  • Spiritually-based counseling
  • Other treatment options

Reach Out Today

If you or a loved one has questions about mental health, reach out to our facility. We house caring, professional staff and licensed medical practitioners equipped to guide you on your wellness journey.
We integrate information about genetics in mental health treatment. Treating the whole person allows our clients to find lasting relief.

Create a Future You'll be Proud of

We encourage you to explore the benefits of understanding genetic risks in mental health. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first steps toward lasting wellness.