This web page was produced as an assignment for an undergraduate course at Davidson College.

Improved Technology


Many of the drug treaments presented on these pages can produce very negative results in some patients.  In fact, as discussed in the Schizophrenic page, May et al (1977) states that the possible side effects of some drug treatments are not worth the possible benefits. 

This have been true in the past, and may still be true currently, though the future holds new promises. 

Pharmacogenetics refers to the study of genes to determine more effective drug therapies.  In this new field, scientists hope to gain a better understanding of the expression and interaction of genes and proteins.  By doing so, scientists may be able to determine which protein targets produce adverse effects, and which produce the desired effects (Staddon et al, 2002).  Once the target proteins are identified, drugs can be manufactured that only affect the target protein.

Because the genome varies from person to person, one person may have a different reaction to a drug than another person.  This may be due to metabolism rates, or to protein expression in the cells.   Pharmacogenetics deals with these problems by creating “tailored” drug treatments that match these differing factors.

Though the implications of pharmacogenetics may be far in the future, this new field offers hope that a “perfect drug” may one day be created.




Return to the Schizophrenia, Alcoholism, or Other Substances

Return to Megan's Behavioral Genomics Homepage

Return to Megan's Genomics Homepage        

Davidson College Psychology Department  


© Copyright 2002 Department of Psychology, Davidson College, Davidson, NC 28036
Send comments, questions, and suggestions to: