Friday, November 6, 2015

Scientists develop model that predicts drug side effects in different patients

          Senior Author Bernhard Palsson and his team at the University of San Diego published their work in the journal Cell Systems. Some people will experience side effects from drugs while others do not. This model looks to find a way to predict the drug's side effects before the public is exposed to it. The model is based on the fact that different people have different variations of the same gene. These variations determine how one metabolize a particular drug. The model will use the genotype of an individuals along with information about their individual metabolism to stimulate how a particular type of cell would react to a certain drug.
          Professor Palsson explains that the team chose to model red blood cells because of the simplicity of them. They created "whole-cell kinetic models" of red blood cells for each of 24 healthy individuals based on their personal data. The kinetic model takes into account the rates of reactions and changing levels of the products of the reactions. The team found after looking at metabolites, that "personalized kinetic rate constants rather than metabolite levels, better represent the genotype."The team is using this model to identify specific regions of the red blood cells that are responsible for ribavirin-induced anemia which occurs in 8-10% of patients. The team also believes they may be able to determine how the patient's reaction changes over time. For the future, the team looks to build their model for much larger groups. They concluded their model is leading towards one day precisely treating a patient based on their genetic makeup.
           I found this article very interesting because I am looking to become a physician's assistant. I have shadowed physician's assistants before and one major concern of theirs is side effects of drugs. Some data bases in hospitals have the feature of determining if drugs will give side effects if used together but if they were also able to determine if a person would get side effects from just that drug itself then medicine will be revolutionized. Prescribing medicine will become a lot easier and physicians will have less problems to deal with.

Another article pertaining to the same topic:

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