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Pharmacogenomics: Benefits and Barriers

BY: bluemoon silverstars | Category: Others | Submitted: 2010-05-25 03:46:51
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Article Summary: "Pharmacogenomics is the mixture of pharmaceuticals and genetics. This field has very bright future. It provides methods of drug insertion by knowing the variations in the structures of proteins and DNA..."


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Pharmacogenomics is a new emerging field of biotechnology. It is the study of human genome variations to see how these changes respond to medicines. Pharmacogenomics is the branch of pharmacology. First name of this field was pharmacogenetics but after period of time scientist kept the name pharmacogenomics. Pharmacogenomics is the combination of two fields that is pharmacology and genetics. Now it is possible after the sequencing of human genome, that many genes can be observed at the same time rather than one gene at one time. Pharmacogenmics introduces such drugs which are made by keeping in view the genetic make up of a person.

The effect of medicines depends on the environment, health and age of the person. So the drug which affects one person most may have a little effect on another person. There are some cases seen in which, if one person takes a drug and it is safe for him, at the same time, that drug will have a harmful effect on the other person. The metabolism of the body is different in different people. It alters with the enzymes in the body that is why same drug has different effect on different people. Pharmacogenomics gives information about the metabolism of the body and how the drug effects in that particular mechanism.

The actual thing which should be kept in mind is the genetic makeup of the person. Genetic makeup shows that how the person reacts to a specific drug. It is the metabolism of a person which doctor checks and prescribes the drug according to that. Sometimes if a drug is effective for one disease, it will cause various other small diseases as a side effect. So pharmacogenomics observes that effect and makes drugs keeping in view the genetic makeup of the person. Traditional pharmaceutical applications like biochemistry are now studied with the knowledge of genes, DNA and proteins.

Benefits of Pharmacogenomics:-
Pharmacogenomics has made it possible for the doctors now that they will prescribe the drugs against diseases by observing the genetic makeup of the person not just symptoms of the disease. This method of prescribing drug will save the time of the doctor and patient also, because in less time, the drug will act and ill show better results. The diseases could be targeted easily by detecting the defected genes.
Instead of depending on the guess work that whether the drug will effect in a right way or not, now pharmaceutical companies will make drugs by considering the protein and DNA structures of the person. This will help in more efficient effect of drugs. By this method, drug therapy can be introduced and drugs can be made by keeping in view only that particular disease. Due to this method, drug will not be able t affect the cells which are healthy and do not need any drugs.
Due to pharmacogenenomics, now drugs will be prescribed to the person not on the age and weight basis but his or her genetic makeup will observed and then any drug will be prescribed to them. Overdosing can be prevented by using this method.
A person can adapt environmental changes if his genetic makeup is known. Scientists will be able to make changes in his genetic makeup and he will get used to the environment where he is living. Because of this possibility, there will be less possibility of having a genetic disease. Early knowledge of genetic disease will ease the doctors in knowing its defected genes and replacing them with healthy ones or prescribing them the desired drugs.
Vaccines can be made with DNA and RNA and those vaccines will not have any risks. These vaccines will be able to protect the body from infections and will activate only the immune system.
Doctors will get rid of the wait after they give medicine to the patient. Reaction of the drug will also be certain making sure that it will not cause any infections in other parts of the body.
These days, to treat the disease of cancer, chemotherapy is performed by using the enzyme called thiopurine methyltransferase. Leukemia in the early childhood can be treated with this enzyme and within less time, patient shows progress.

Every field whether it is related to biology or other fields of science has some barriers also. Though inserting the drugs in patients by knowing their genetic makeup is easy, but it is difficult to know the variations of the gene within the genome which are causing the infection and their drug response is also difficult to know. As we know that every person has different genetic makeup, so it is difficult for one or two particular drugs to act in the same way in every genome. People with genetic variations have chances of getting less treatment.

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