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Individuality is based upon personality, diet, lifestyle and genetics. Determination of blood type provides the classic example of heterogeneity, and an ideal and accessible marker to assess an individual's biochemical enzymatic status. There are many other genetic markers that can be included in these studies. An analysis of several of a patient's personal characteristics will permit the individualization of therapy, and provide better outcomes with fewer adverse effects.
Standard western medicine is starting to recognize the advantage of taking an individualized approach to biomedical therapy. The role of genetics in affecting medical treatments has long been recognized, though not adequately utilized. Genetic predisposition to a variety of diseases is well known, and includes cancers, diabetes, specifically characterized genetic diseases like Phenylketonuria and Cystic Fibrosis, and also includes the potential for side effects caused by certain medications.
Unfortunately, in most cases the specific value of genetic polymorphisms has not been properly explored. The disconnect between the vast body of research on human heterogeneity and the lack of clinical application of this information in patient care demonstrates a need for a multidisciplinary approach.