Kenneth Blum, PhD, president and CEO of IGENE, LLC, and chief scientific adviser to national laboratory Dominion Diagnostics, was honored at this month's American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Medical-Scientific Conference for a research abstract on the genetic factors that could predispose an individual to substance use problems.
Blum, who in 2005 received the first patent for the Genetic Addiction Risk Score (GARS) test, last moth entered into an agreement under which Dominion will co-develop and market the genetic risk testing, which is designed to assist in the understanding of gene-influenced “reward deficiency syndrome” that is believed to lead some individuals to turn to harmful levels of substance use.
Blum this month received ASAM's Medical-Scientific Program Committee Award for best scientific abstract in the area of drug testing, medication management or biomarkers. His abstract was titled “Clinical Integration of Innovative Genetic Risk/Medical Monitoring in Reward Deficiency Syndrome.”
He stated, “The integration of GARS as a treatment tool will offer enormous clinical benefit, including the reduction of patient denial and guilt, the ability to counsel and stratify medication response by genotype, opportunities to reduce harm, and a better understanding of polymorphic reward deficiencies and their effect on treatment. Used hand in hand with objective diagnostics like drug testing, GARS will provide new information that will result in more positive clinical interactions and improved treatment outcomes.”
Blum's abstract also summarized new research related to patient compliance to prescribed treatment medication and avoidance of drugs of abuse during treatment.