The modern science of health is progressing at an incredible pace, with a remarkable new information that is discovered almost daily. One of my favorite areas of study is the ever-changing field of human genetics, which has the potential to significantly improve our health care systems thanks to recent advances in preventive care and personalized treatments.
In a university in Stanford course entitled, "Your genes and your health", Douglas Brutlag, Ph.D. He gave a lecture on the billions of pieces in our biological code that ultimately shape what we are. He suggested that taking advantage of this information can reveal a lot about our future well-being and allow preventive measures to be implemented earlier, with greater effect. Understanding how particular genetic variants influence our risk of disease can lead to a reduction in the prices of medical care and pave the way for a new approach to human well-being.
Nature vs. Self-Nutrition
"The percentage of our health dictated by our genetics and the fraction by behavior and environment depends on individual diseases. Some diseases are totally genetic and are known as 100% penetrating. Diseases such as Huntington's disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease and Down syndrome are purely genetic. Other more complex diseases, such as type 2 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, have an important behavioral component. That means that even if a person has a genetic predisposition towards the disease, there is much that can be done to prevent it. Many diseases, such as lung cancer, are almost totally behavioral. Others, like most infectious diseases, are totally environmental, "Dr. Brutlag Explain.
So, how do genetic tests work?
A blood sample is taken from a patient and then transferred to a genetics laboratory for DNA analysis. Certain elements in the DNA chain are checked for mutations that are commonly associated with specific genetic conditions in defined population groups. The detection of carriers of genetic conditions can also be done through saliva tests. Genetic tests Historically they have been used to help define genetic variations that generally point to serious health conditions. Most of the time, these tests are reserved for patients who are known to be at risk for certain diseases based on their family history. For example, women with family members who have had breast cancer at a young age may want to know whether or not they have similar high-risk genes. In this case, a genetic test would provide sufficient indicators to suggest whether such a gene is present in your body or not. The results of this type of tests can have a great impact on the patient and, therefore, are usually accompanied by an extensive explanation and advice.
What are the benefits of understanding specific genetic variants?
Dr. Brutlag suggests that, "if someone knows they have genes that predispose them to a particular disease, then they can be more attentive to other symptoms of that disease and also talk to their doctor about other clinical evidence of the disease. For example, if someone has certain alleles of the gene for the coagulation factor F5, it could be an indication that the person might have a high risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and one should test their thrombin levels. This is very important since DVT can cause strokes and pulmonary embolisms that cause death. "
Preventive measures are always a preferred method to fight diseases within a population, since they are cheap and have less impact on the individual. Much of the cost of the current health system lies in the costly diagnostic systems and subsequent treatments prescribed to patients with chronic diseases. The benefit of genetic testing is that it has the potential to reduce cases of hereditary diseases by training the individual to take control of his or her health trip and to use preventive measures from the beginning. The prevention of the disease becomes the responsibility of the patient, since it will correctly understand the risks posed by the known behaviors to facilitate it.
Where from here?
A poll In 2009, he noted that a significant number of doctors and health professionals did not have the necessary training to understand the results of genetic testing and use the data to influence medical decisions accurately. Therefore, we are currently in a transition phase in which we need more doctors who specialize in genetics to be able to use this technology in an appropriate way. Many medical schools have begun to train their students in the interpretation and evaluation of genetic data, so I hope there is a moment in the not too distant future where there will be genetic tests as normal clinical processes that doctors can undertake to inform and educate their patients better
The future is an exciting unknown. If we use our vast knowledge wisely, scientific advances like Genetic test Present a bold opportunity to reduce suffering and help change the face of modern medical care as we know it. Laurentine and I believe in a world where education allows people to take charge of their health and live a more vibrant and satisfying life as a result!
What is your opinion about genetic testing? Let us know in the comments below!
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