genetics of psychotropic drug receptors info?

GS Hamilton hamilton at
Tue Feb 28 21:25:24 EST 1995

>>> Vic Yuschuk <vy001d at> wrote:
(Original post and replies deleted)
>Sorry about the vagueness.  I meant papers about genetic factors that
>influence how *receptive* people are to psychotropic drugs, i.e. how well
>and in which ways they respond.  Picky, picky.

At the risk of sounding yet more picky, I must note that the ability to 
give a decent answer is a function of the precision of the question.
The issue you are asking about is interesting but too complex to answer 
in its broad statement. THe factors that govern an organism's response to 
a drug are large: the intrinsic affinity of the drug for its target, the 
population density of receptors, the ability of the drug to penetrate to 
the target tissue, which involves metabolic fate and, in the case of CNS 
drugs, ability to penetrate the BBB. Etc., etc. Many of these factors may 
have a genetic component.
Alexander Shulgin, who has prepared and evaluated a large number of 
psychoactive phenethylamines, has noted that compounds with a sulfur 
substituent on the aromatic ring tend to show a lot of variation among 
individuals; i.e., some may be powerfully affected by a certain dose of 
compound A, wheras others may feel almost no effects with a much higher 
dose of the same compound. This would seem to be an example of individual 
idiosyncracies of metabolism being important.
As I say, the issue is complex! The flip side of the coin is the study of 
the genetic components of certain forms of mental illness. This is also a 
complex area, but more is known.
GS Hamilton 

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