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March 1, 2008

Genomic PromisePersonalized Medicine for Ophthalmology

Arch Ophthalmol. 2008;126(3):422-423. doi:10.1001/archopht.126.3.422

The advances in genetics and genomics during the past decade have provided insight into the molecular processes underlying many ophthalmic disorders. These discoveries are valuable to the scientific community but also to physicians, as newly revealed genetic information is increasingly used to improve the quality of health care. Ideally, patient care should include comprehensive screening with predictive tests and appropriate and timely preventive and preemptive therapies. Genetic factors have been shown to contribute to disease development and response to therapy. Because each patient has a unique genetic background and a specific set of disease-associated factors, health care approaches should be personalized regarding screening for risk factors, establishing a diagnosis, and predicting response to therapy. Although comprehensive evaluations for all ocular diseases are not yet possible, considerable progress has been made and ongoing applications of human genome information to important clinical problems in ophthalmology will lead to the rapid realization of these goals.

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