Scientists are the first to admit that knowing all of the gene sequences
in the human genome does little in and of itself for improving the health
of patients. But additional research can turn these raw data into information
physicians can use in making treatment decisions for their patients.
Such was the finding by David Goldstein, PhD, and colleagues at the
University College London, in England, who discovered that particular genetic
variations could explain variation in response of patients with epilepsy to
antiepileptic drugs, namely the differences in the doses of drugs required
to control seizures (Tate et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S
A. 2005;102:5507-5512). Their results point to the potential for tailored
prescribing of the thousands of medications for various conditions, a scenario
that could help maximize benefit to the patient while minimizing adverse effects.
Hampton T. Gene Variants Explain Patient Differences in Antiepileptic Drug Responses. JAMA. 2005;293(18):2199. doi:10.1001/jama.293.18.2199