GIFTED: Genetic Information For Treating Eating Disorders
GIFTED: Genetic Information For Treating Eating Disorders is a book written by Michael Lutter MD/PhD describing the development of his new treatment program which combines genetic sequencing technology with already existing medical care into a completely new option in eating disorder treatment.
The book outlines how current approaches in Psychiatry have failed to bring about better outcomes for patients by focusing on ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatments. Instead, the GIFTED program focuses on your unique biology to identify novel treatment options. Only available through Precision Psychiatry, GIFTED may offer unique information from your DNA to better direct your medication and treatment plan. If your eating disorder has been called “treatment-resistant” or “difficult to treat,” GIFTED is a completely different option from traditional talk therapy and psychological methods. If your eating disorder is biologically-based – coded for in your DNA – GIFTED can help determine what may have been the original hormonal, neurochemical or inherited initiators of your illness, making your ongoing treatment more likely to succeed.
GIFTED is a new way of looking at eating disorders, stepping away from generic treatments and generic diagnoses. Traditional eating disorder treatment starts at the end – assigning a diagnosis based on your symptoms, then prescribing the customary treatment for that diagnosis.
GIFTED takes the opposite approach, starting at the beginning with your unique genetic code. In addition to considering your symptoms and experience and where you find yourself right now, Dr. Lutter examines the unique DNA differences that influence your eating, your emotions, your mood, your behaviors and your health.
Then he recommends treatments to solve the underlying issues. It’s the combination of DNA sequencing technology and personal, expert care that make GIFTED so successful. GIFTED is a better way of sorting the pieces of your eating disorder puzzle.
Yes. All aspects of GIFTED medical treatment are well-established. Some have been utilized in patient care for decades – just not always for eating disorders. DNA is collected for genetic sequencing by swabbing your cheek cells.
Each DNA sample is labeled with an anonymous alpha-numeric code so only Dr. Lutter is able to link your identity to your DNA sequencing results. No one else will have access to your genetic information. Additionally the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act is a law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to employment and health insurance.
Many companies now offer genetic tests that help predict which psychiatric medications are more likely to work for you. These tests tend to look at genetic variants in a few dozen genes that are involved in how your body breaks down and eliminates medications. These tests only give information on how your body responds to medications and does not provide insight into what is causing the disorder. GIFTED looks at all your genes (over 21,000!) in order to find genetic variants that may increase your risk of developing Anxiety, Depression, or an Eating Disorder.
GIFTED is a proprietary system developed by Dr. Michael Lutter that’s not available anywhere else. Dr. Lutter has been researching eating disorders and using his findings to help individuals for years… but only recently has Whole Exome Sequencing – DNA testing – been available outside of the university research setting.
Dr. Lutter is an eating disorder specialist psychiatrist, so working with him doesn’t replace your other medical or mental health providers.
At your request, Dr. Lutter will consult with your current psychiatrist or other treatment team members to learn more about your medical and treatment histories and to discuss his recommended plan of care.
It’s possible that your DNA sequence will not reveal any known genetic markers for eating disorders.
Every GIFTED report includes information that may help guide your treatment, but I find that GIFTED is particularly helpful in these situations:
- Family History: Do you have one or more family members with a current or past eating disorder?
- Treatment History: Have you experienced multiple treatment experiences that have not resulted in long-term remission?
- Severity: Do your symptoms seem more severe than what others report?
- Presentation: Do your symptoms seem different from a “typical” eating disorder?
Some Insurance companies have started to covered Whole Exome Sequencing in limited cases, but coverage is highly variable. Please check your benefits with your Insurance company first if you are interested.
Whole Exome Sequencing uses a cotton swab (like a long Q-tip) to rub cells off the inside of the cheek. It takes a few minutes and is painless.
The DNA sequencing done will be valid for the rest of your life. You are welcome to a copy but the data files are quite large.
It is possible that we won’t be able to definitively identify a genetic variant that is contributing to the risk. However, more and more genetic information is becoming available every year. As new genetic variants are reported, I routinely go back and check to see if my patients have the same mutation so it is possible that you will be notified later about a potential genetic finding.
No, the technology is not available to do either of these things and we can not do them without your permission. Genetic testing simply allows us to better individualize your treatment.