Guide Genes and Common Diseases. Genetics in Modern Medicine

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The tool helps you gather and organize your own family health history. You can find it in either English or Spanish. Using any computer with an Internet connection, you can build a drawing of your family tree and make a chart of your family health history. Both the chart and the drawing can be printed and shared with your family members or your health care provider.

Every year, more than two million Americans have serious side effects from prescription medicines and as many as one hundred thousand die. A "one-size-fits-all" approach to medicine might lead to some of these side effects, since all people are different. Genetic research is helping us figure out how individual people will respond to medicines.

This type of research is called "pharmacogenetics" and "pharmagenomics. Frequently Asked Questions About Pharmacogenomics.

Human Genetic Predispositions – the hidden politics of genomic science

What is pharmacogenetics? A person's genetic makeup affects how their body breaks down certain medicines. Genetic testing can examine certain liver enzymes in a person to find out how their body breaks down and removes medicines from the body. Because these liver enzymes are less active in some people, they are less able to break down and get rid of some medicines.

Genes and human diseases

This can lead to serious side effects. This type of testing is being used to find the right dose of certain medicines, such as antidepressants that are used to treat some mental illnesses. There is now a test to find out whether a medicine called Herceptin will be an effective treatment in breast cancer. This test looks "estrogen receptors" in tumors.


Children with a common type of childhood leukemia can be tested to find the right doses of chemotherapy treatment. Some people have concerns about using genetic information in the treatment of disease.

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Genetic Diseases: Categories – Genetics - Lecturio

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