Metabolomics and It’s Application In Medicine

August 13, 2013


Improvement in technology has ushered in a new era for healthcare. The mode of clinical treatment is moving from ‘diagnose and treat’ to ‘predict and prevent’. Most of the transition can be attributed to the understanding of gene regulation and how different people respond variably to drugs based upon their metabolic system.

New businesses in healthcare are focusing on genomic medicine and how it can occupy the center stage in the coming decade or so. The application of genomic medicine is also known as personalized medicine and focuses on creating tailor made medicine.

The role of the metabolic system is very important in this regard. An enzyme system in the liver known as the P-450 plays an important role in drug detoxification. Based upon activity, different people can be assorted to fast, normal and slow metabolizers.

The impact of care provided to the patient is directly dependent on how the physician is able to cure the diagnosis. The dosage of the drug is important. For instance, before genomic medicine came to the fore front, scientists were confused as to why two people were having different responses when the same drug was given for a specific disease.

Metabolomics – the bigger picture  

Now, a field of study known as metabolomics is targeting this area. Fast metabolizers would have little or no action when a normal dose is given to them. Likewise, slow metabolizers are prone to side effects since the medicine remains in their blood stream for longer time periods.

The objective of metabolomics is to screen people for the activity of their P-450 enzyme system and check what level of metabolism they have. In this way, the kind of dosage can be decided for better clinical outcome. One such example of personalized medicine is Warfarin which is given as per the genome of the individual.

On the commercial front, companies that offer genetic testing are slowly introducing metabolomics in the mainstream. The revenue system of genomic medicine and applications can be given a boost if a practice management system is in place. This is because such systems have room to be either practice specific or patient specific. And in the case of genomic medicine, there are numerous ‘specific conditions’. With the absence of specific templates, revenue management would be cumbersome.

Apart from the revenue advantage, modern practice systems are also allowing healthcare professionals in genomic in different fields with advanced scheduling, billing and data backup.

Metabolomics is a new field where a lot of people are recruited under clinical trial set ups for drug discovery etc. A good management system therefore becomes necessary in order to deal with the level of unprecedented customization.

Another avenue of metabolomics that has been looked at in research and subsequently to the market is how different diseases affect our metabolic system. For instance, viral diseases like HCV cause a condition where too much fat is stored in the liver. Metabolomics would take a look at how this off-setting can be targeted for removing the virus from the system.

An important term that is strongly associated with metabolomics is that of fluxomics. Fluxomics is basically the application of metabolomics at the clinical scale. It studies how different diets, diseases and conditions change the metabolic system of people. How vitamin intake can improve specific areas of metabolism that can lead to better immunity is also a part of the study.

The domain of metabolomics is quite interesting and the idea that each person can be given a medicine based upon their body requirement is quite efficient. Further advancement would lead to better treatment and patient care.

Metabolomics and It’s Application In Medicine

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