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Personalized Medicine Essay

1218 words - 5 pages

Personalized medicine is a swiftly evolving way of healthcare that customizes treatment to an individuals genetic make-up. This custom analyzes the molecular profile of each patient to determine a personalized diagnosis and course of treatment. The study of how genetic variations interface with drug response and disease risk is called pharmacogenomics (Genetic Science Learning Center, 2011). This revolutionary breakthrough in healthcare will soon become a leading practice for future generations to come.
For ages clinicians have been using the same trial and error approach to treating patients. Once a specific course of treatment was identified to cure a disease, that remedy became the ...view middle of the document...

This movement can disrupt genes, causing them to malfunction. The are several different types of gene malfunctions, such as single gene inheritance, multifactorial inheritance, chromosomal abnormalities, and mitochondrial inheritance.
Single gene inheritance usually leads to disorders such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia. These are disorders caused by the mutation of the sequence of a single gene. Multifactorial inheritance is caused by a combination of mutation in multiple genes, as well as environmental influences. Examples of this disorder include cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Chromosomes are the carriers of genetic information and it is due to this reason that chromosome abnormalities can lead to diseases. Down syndrome is a well known disorder that is caused by these chromosomal abnormalities. Genetic disorder caused by the non-chromosomal DNA of the mitochondria is known as mitochondrial inheritance. Mitochondria are small organelles that are included in the cellular respiration process of a human. The mitochondria contains DNA which has been inherited from the female parent. Diseases of the mitochondria appear to cause the most damage to cells of the brain, heart, liver, skeletal muscles, kidney and the endocrine and respiratory systems (UMDF).
By gaining knowledge of genetics, clinicians gain a better understanding of how it relates to the health and well being of their patient’s. More physician’s will began using genetic technology such as genetic counseling and gene therapy. Genetic counseling uses genetic information to predict the risk of a inherited disorder in a family. Couples planning to have a baby generally uses this type of counseling. A genetic counselor can run test to figure out the probability of a child being born with a genetic disorder. Gene therapy is a technique that inserts, alters or removes genes for the purpose of correcting defective genes that cause diseases and disorders. This technique is used to prevent or treat illnesses. In the future, this technique may allow doctors to treat a disorder by inserting a gene into a patient’s cells instead of using drugs or surgery (Genetic Home References, 2011). This move to genetic technology will push us closer to personalized medicine.
The benefits to genetic technology is that it can provide medical professionals with the insight needed to foresee susceptibility to disorders, improve disease detection and prevent disease development. It can also help to eliminate the inflated cost of healthcare that comes from the trial and error view on diagnosing, treating and preventing. Genetic technologies will help physicians to make a more precise diagnosis, prescribe more effective drugs, and be more informed on specific preventative measure for each patient. Currently, the application of personalized medicine is being used to deal with patients fighting blood clots, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer.
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