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Personalized Medicine

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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 standard by which to follow. But clinicians are realizing that new biological advances can be applied to the clinical approach of diagnosing patients. These clinicians are gaining knowledge of the molecular core of diseases and using this knowledge to apply genetic technology to patient care.

Understanding the role of genetics is crucial to the advancement of personalized medicine. Genetic information (genes) consist of a specific chain of bases. They are small pieces of DNA that code for all the proteins in a cell (McGraw-Hill 2009). DNA is the genetic make-up of an organism. This genetic information is a passed to a mRNA molecule. A mRNA is DNA’s messenger that translates gene expression into protein synthesis. This process is just one of many steps in the chain of bases. To use genetics as a way to diagnose and treat patients, clinicians must first understand the cause of gene mutations that lead to a lot of illnesses.

Gene mutation is a change in the specific chain of bases within a gene. A gene can mutate due to errors in dup...

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...e Therapy? Retrieved on May 14, 2011 from

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McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions (2009), Essentials of Biology

The Jackson Library (2011) What is Personalized Medicine? , Retrieved on May 14, 2011 from

http://genetichealth.jax.org/personalized-medicine/what-is/index.html

United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, What is Mitochondrial Disease?, Retrieved May 14, 2011 from http://www.umdf.org/site/c.otJVJ7MMIqE/b.5692879/k.3851/What_is_Mitochondrial_Disease.htm

Pollack, A. (2008), Patient’s DNA May Be Signal To Tailor Medication, Retrieved on May 14, 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/30/business/30gene.html
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