Impact of genomics on the practice of neurology

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By K K Jain MD

In this clinical article, Dr. K K Jain, a neurology consultant in Basel, Switzerland, discusses the role of genomics, more specifically neurogenomics, in neurosciences. Genomic technologies have enabled the study of genes and their relation to neurologic disorders, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment. The most significant impact will be development of molecular methods of treatment, integration of diagnostics and therapeutics, and, eventually, development of personalized neurology, along with the general trend in development of personalized medicine.

Key points

  • The advent of the genomic era in the last decade of 20th century has had an impact on the practice of medicine in the first decade of 21st century (postgenomic era), which is referred to as genomic medicine.
  • Although sequencing of the human genome has contributed the most important information, other -omics are contributing to an improved understanding of human diseases, the discovery of new therapeutics, and molecular diagnostics.
  • Genomics has an impact on the practice of neurology, particularly for the management of diseases lacking adequate diagnostics and therapeutics.
  • Genomic neurology will be an important part of personalized neurology, which will also integrate information from environmental and epigenetic aspects of some diseases.