| Personalized Medicine
Genes play an important role in determining the right drug and dosing for a particular condition. A treatment that works for one individual may not work, or may cause severe side effects, for another individual. Pharmacogenomics is a field of personalized medicine that screens an individual’s DNA to determine the optimal treatment for that individual based on their genetic code.
Often, drug choice and dosage require experimentation in order to find the best treatment option. With pharmacogenomic testing, the need for this experimentation is decreased. As a result, the process becomes faster and more cost-effective, which decreases the possibility of adverse events caused by the wrong drug choice or dosage.
Urine drug testing (UDT) is widely used for testing for opioids and illicit drugs. There are two types of UDT: a screening test and a confirmatory test. The screening test uses an immunoassay to look for the parent drug and/or metabolite. Most UDTs screen for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, PCP, and amphetamines, while some also test for benzodiazepines and methadone. The confirmatory urine drug test is done by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) or high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). This test is highly specific and is typically used when testing for the presence of a specific drug is needed.
HerediTEST evaluates an individual’s genetic risk of developing several primary inherited cancers over their lifetime by examining 94 genes for variants that may increase risk for major cancer types including: Breast, Ovarian, Melanoma, Prostate, Colorectal, Endocrine Neoplasia, Gastric, Bladder, Renal, Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, and Pancreatic. Equipped with personal and family history, a physical and the results of this test, an individual with a higher risk for cancer and their physician may decide on more frequent screening, avoiding risk factors, developing healthy lifestyle habits to decrease additional risk, taking preventative medications, or having risk reducing surgical procedures. Who should be tested? Patients with a personal history of cancer and patients with a family history of cancer (including early onset and multiple types of cancer).
Simply put, transdermal creams are a different way of delivering medication to your body, and they offer significant advantages over taking medications orally. One of the biggest advantages is that the medication is delivered directly to the site of action. This is advantageous in two ways: It allows a much higher concentration of the actual drug to reach the tissue that needs it, and it avoids the body’s “first pass metabolism,” which leads to dangerous systemic side effects in many cases.
Spinal instrumentation utilizes surgical procedures to implant titanium, titanium-alloy, stainless steel, or non-metallic devices into the spine. Instrumentation provides a permanent solution to spinal instability. Medical implants are specially designed and come in many shapes and sizes. Typically these include rods, hooks, braided cable, plates, screws, and interbody cages. Cages are simply structures that support bones (either between bones or in place of them) while new bone growth occurs through and around them.
Spinal fusion is a process using bone graft to cause two opposing bony surfaces to grow together. In medical terminology, this is called arthrodesis. Bone graft can be taken from the patient (termed autologous or allograft bone) during the primary surgical procedure or harvested from other individuals (termed allograft bone). Another option for some patients undergoing lumbar (low back) spine surgery is bone morphogenetic protein (BMP). BMP stimulates new bone to grow.
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An Antibody test looks for antibodies that are made by your immune system in response to a threat, such as a specific virus. Antibodies can help fight infections. Antibodies can take several weeks or more to develop after you have an infection and may stay in your blood for several weeks or more after recovery. Because of this, antibody tests should not be used to diagnose COVID-19. At this time researchers do not know if the presence of antibodies means that you are immune to COVID-19 in the future.
The test uses a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) that finds the viral genetic material if it is present. That material is detectable when a person is actively infected. In addition, with the PCR test, the breakdown of the virus can still be detected after the acute illness.
Antigen tests are immunoassays that detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, whick implies current viral infection. Antigen tests are currently authorized to be performed on nasopharyngeal or nasal swab specimens placed directly into the assay’s extraction buffer or reagent.