The Benefits of Pharmacogenetics in Science and Medicine
Staying healthy is important, but not always the easiest thing to accomplish, especially during flu season, or when a particular virus finds its way into areas that are densely populated. Germs, bacteria, and sicknesses are often widely shared and spread in places like schools and offices, and that’s not even considering places like cramped public transportation. Sometimes it feels like no matter how many precautions are taken, you get sick anyway, which is always a drag.
Luckily, we live in a time of advanced technology, science, and medicine. The number of things that our species has created and discovered and are in the process of understanding on more complex levels is truly remarkable. Just a few generations ago, there were still major gaps in knowledge throughout the medical field, and for as long as human beings have been studying ourselves, we are constantly learning more and more, that we previously misunderstood or had no idea about. Today, the benefits of pharmacogenetics allow us to dig deeper to examine just how the body functions and responds to certain stimuli.
An introduction to pharmacogenetics
To understand the benefits of pharmacogenetics, one needs to understand just what it is. Pharmacogenetics testing refers to the testing in the field of science that explores the role of a person’s genes in relation to how successful a medication is in resolving specific issues. This testing also focuses on finding the possible side effects that a drug may cause. The benefits of pharmacogenetics include the ability to pinpoint genetic causes of certain diseases, which could lead to successful prevention of those diseases down the line. Pharmacogenomics, on the other hand is the term used for the application of genomic technologies to more in depth characterizations of older drugs, as well as the process of discovering new drugs.
Understanding some basics
People are who they are on a genetic level because of who they are biologically born to. Chromosomes are passed down from parent to child, and some genetic lines have certain traits that can put family members’ health at risk. This is why you need to be able to provide a thorough family health history for your doctor. He or she will then be able to identify some of the areas in which you might be susceptible to certain conditions, and from there, recommend certain medications to help you fight it off or control it.
The process of a taking a drug is made up of four parts, from the moment the drug is taken, to the point that it starts to do its work, until the moment it leaves the system. These four stages are the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. For most people, the genetics of an individual will affect how his or her body will react and function during each of these steps, for better or worse.
There is still so much to discover in the world of science and medicine, and even in the vast universes that are the inner workings of the human body. As technology and understanding advance, we will likely start to see ourselves living longer, healthier lives.