Personalized medicine is the field of health care of precision in medication, diagnosis, and treatment that are separately designed for every individual, according to their distinct needs, in every way that is possible. Although still in a nascent stage, genetic information of a person can offer a whole lot to patients. This is possible largely due to the Human Genome Project of 2003.
How Genomic Information is Helpful in Developing Personalized Health Care
Each gene in the human body provides information about a protein that is essential for the body. This information can used by health care providers to customize treatment according to the genetic makeup of the body. This can help in improving breakdown, absorption, and effect medications have in the body on a molecular level, through improved targeting of the specific proteins.
Some studies focusing on the effects of drugs, found that people sharing a specific gene variation had similar responses to treatment from specific medications. They all either showed greater inclination towards side effects even at low doses, needs of higher doses for improvement in health, no improvement at all, more improvement than people with other gene variants, or better treatment times.
This is currently being used to improve on treatment for major health issues like HIV, cardiovascular ailments, lung disease, depression, high cholesterol, cancer, etc. As per the genetic makeup of each person modern medications can target specific targets, leaving other areas of the body unaffected, reducing the possibility of side effects, and increasing the effectiveness of the treatments. Identifying the correct genetic variation makes drugs more safe and effective.
At present, the aim of personalized health care is to create medicines that are just enough to address a health issue, but not at a level that may cause adverse side effects. For this purpose, information such as the patient’s height, weight, age, and functioning of vital organs are utilized. The use of genetic information is a recent improvement that has resulted in better accuracy of the appropriate prescriptions and treatment.
Identification of disease related genes can indicate the probability of a person acquiring the disease in the future. In a person is predisposed towards a certain genetic disorder, preventative medication and appropriate lifestyle changes can stop its occurrence from ever coming to fruition.
Although the use of genetics in medicine has shown great promise, it is still in its nascent stages. A whole lot of research and clinical trials are required to correctly recognize the link between genes and specific aliments and treatments, confirming hypotheses to create standardized guidelines. So far, progress in the field indicates that it wont be long before the combination of genetics and health care is a part of mainstream medicine.
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