Targeted genetic testing to reduce treatment costs?

With the advent Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), decoding an individual’s genome went through a revolution by exponentially reducing sequencing cost while increasing processing speed

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(Photo Courtesy: www.medscape.com)

Genetic testing has so far gained considerable traction in clinical setting for prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases with an underlying genetic reason.

"Genomics can enable the next level of medicine in the clinical setting," said Dr Thomas Mathew, HOD, department of neurology, St Johns Medical Hospital, Bangalore, along the sidelines of a round table meeting organized by MedGenome, a genomics-based diagnostics and research start-up, with the hospital's neuro-specialists.

Dr Mathew further added, "Targeted genetic testing in Indian patients has a potential to reduce the overall cost to the patient with more accurate diagnosis and management."

The panel of neurologists discussed genomics being an enabler in their clinical practice and on common diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), Leigh Syndrome, Juvenile Parkinson's disease and Epilepsy.

Genomics is also applied in pharmacogenomics to understand the efficacy of a drug in an individual patient; identifying root cause of complex diseases running in families; and more definite diagnosis for common diseases where the underlying genetic causes are known.

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