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Can personalized medicine help those with chronic diseases that have environmental triggers?

| | February 24, 2017

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[Editor’s note: Sharon Horesh Bergquist is a physician, teacher, researcher in preventive medicine and healthy aging at Emory University]

Personalized medicine, which involves tailoring health care to each person’s unique genetic makeup, has the potential to transform how we diagnose, prevent and treat disease.

But genomic science remains in its infancy…It’s not that there haven’t been tremendous breakthroughs. It’s just that the gap between science and its ability to benefit most patients remains wide. This is mainly because we don’t yet fully understand the complex pathways involved in common chronic diseases.

Chronic diseases are only partially heritable. This means that the genes you inherit from your parents aren’t entirely responsible for your risk of getting most chronic diseases.

Chronic diseases are also “complex.” Rather than being controlled by a few genes that are easy to find, they are weakly influenced by hundreds if not thousands of genes, the majority of which still elude scientists.

We also have to consider decades of research on chronic diseases that suggest there are inherent limitations to preventing the global prevalence of these diseases with genomic solutions. For most of us, personalized medicine will likely complement rather than replace “one-size-fits-all” medicine.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Personalized medicine may do more to treat rather than prevent chronic diseases

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