CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago mother calls this genetic test a “game changer.”
It helped doctors determine that none of the medication her son was taking for seven years worked.
As CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, now she’s on a mission to spread the word to help others.
16-year-old George Augustyn feels like a new person.
Thanks to new medication to treat his ADHD and OCD.
“The other medicine that I was using made me feel foggy,” says Augustyn. “This one it works better and I feel clear.”
But his mother says it took seven years and eight medications to get to this point.
Starting when George was diagnosed at the age of nine and told he’d need prescription drugs to help him.
“I literally sat there and cried,” says Karenlynn Augustyn, George’s mother. “I never question it because these are the doctors. They assessed him. They determined what needed to be done.”
But none of the medications worked.
So George’s new psychiatrist suggested this genetic test that uses a simple cheek swab.
In George’s case, the test determined a certain enzyme in his liver wasn’t working properly.
“60 percent of our psychotropic medications go through that pathway so that explains why he cannot tolerate all of the medications he tried over the years,” says Dr. Bernadette Stevenson with Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.
What was it like to hear that?
“Oh my god, it was devastating. I felt so guilty,” says Karenlynn Augustyn.
George and his mother are just happy they finally know what was wrong, and they hope sharing their story will help others.
“Get the test. If your child is currently taking medication, please don’t assume that’s working for them,” says Karenlynn Augustyn.
This is just one of the test that’s available.
With her insurance, it only cost Augustyn $20.00.