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Personalized Medicine in Neurology

Alzheimer’s disease will affect one in 10 men and one in 5 women during their lifetime. Along with environmental and lifestyle factors, our genetic makeup is thought to have a role in the development of this chronic neurodegenerative disorder. Through the use of neurological tests and genotyping, we are able to help identify the specific nature of some neurodegenerative diseases. APOE (apolipoprotein E) genotyping has the potential to identify persons at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals with certain variations in this gene may be at higher risk than the general population for developing the condition, making them ideal candidates for earlier diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies.

If you are worried about your brain health and Alzheimer’s disease, in particular, APOE testing may help predict your chances of developing the condition. NorthShore’s new Center for Brain Health uses APOE genotyping for well informed and carefully selected patients as part of a comprehensive evaluation of Alzheimer’s risk. By providing this high level of individualized care, our team can offer earlier intervention strategies, from lifestyle modifications to the latest medications, which could possibly improve your brain health and spare you of this devastating disease. 

Benefits of pharmacogenomics

One application of utilizing pharmacogenomics in neurology involves an anticlotting drug. This drug, clopidogrel (Plavix®) helps to prevent primary and secondary strokes in patients at risk. For most people, the drug works well. However, individuals with a mutation in the CYP2C19 gene can’t properly metabolize the medication, rendering clopidogrel ineffective for the treatment of their health condition.

At the Center for Personalized Medicine, we are committed to using the latest in pharmacogenomic information to improve therapy. Our Pharmacogenomics Clinic offers drug-gene testing that can provide you and your physician with a better understanding of your genetically-determined drug response to medications such as clopidogrel.