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Systems Biology and the Future of Medicine

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Waverunner, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

    One reason why we make so little progress in treating most diseases or disease syndromes including CFS is that we are still stuck in 19th century classification of disease. We look at the end stage appearance of symptoms and we may add some blood work or general basic diagnosis but we do not look at the underlying molecular disease network of the individual patient. Harvard professors Loscalco and Barabasi published a great paper about the shortcomings of medicine in 2011.

    Loscalzo J, Barabasi A-L. Systems Biology and the Future of Medicine. Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Systems biology and medicine 2011;3(6):619-627. doi:10.1002/wsbm.144.

    In this paper they say, that all disease is complex, even monogenetic diseases like sickle cell anemia. Despite suffering from the same monogenic disease, the patients come down with very different phenotypes e.g. "painful crisis, osteonecrosis, acute chest syndrome, stroke, profound anemia, or mild anemia".

    I think the same is true for CFS. As long as we don't look at the underlying molecular network, we will not be able to address and treat the individual patient to maximum effectiveness, in fact, we might not even be able to understand their diseases at all. If we look at where things can go wrong in the human body we not only have to take the genome into account but we also have to focus on the transcriptome, the proteome, the metabolome, the interactome, the phenome, the microbiome as well as infections. Each field is complex for itself but a normal doctor will not account for any of them. The current job of a doctor is not to investigate but to administrate and manage.

    The good thing is, that research is advancing. Systems biology and network medicine are starting to unravel the complex interconnectedness of many human diseases. We even start to understand why humans start to suffer from not just one but from several diseases later in their lives and how these diseases are connected.

    The bad thing is, that health care in general is still highly stuck in the last century. It is highly population based, as is drug development and drug approval. Therefore costs explode but no breakthroughs appear because it gets harder and harder to find wonder drugs, which work in all patients. We have to start treating the individual patient. We have the means and we should start using them now.

    Therefore I would encourage any PWC, whenever he/she has the possibility to advance the usage of individualized medicine, to actually do so and support the idea behind it.
    melamine, ahmo, redrachel76 and 4 others like this.
  2. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

    Northcoast NSW, Australia
    I'm getting my greatest help at present from Martin Pall's view, his Tenth Paradigm of illnesses, including ME/CFS, PTSD, cardiovascular issues, others. He refers to, I believe, 37 interlocking cycles, which contribute to the vicious cycle, hence his apt name, NO/ONOO! Since I've been following his recommendations relating to oxidative stress and build-up of peroxynitrite, I've been able to reverse my crashy symptoms as they happen. Not cured, but coping far better.
    melamine likes this.

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