Friday, 27 April 2012

A Healthy Mind is a Healthy Body



15/3/12
By Matthew Schleehauf

The world of genetics has evolved into new heights with the invention of personal genomics. This new technology allows practitioners to gather accurate data about a persons health status, which comes in handy when prescribing medication or preventing disease. Eric Nelson, a writer in the Washington Times, explains how a new company, Navigenics, can help you over come your worst health problems and perhaps even increase your life expectancy. This allows us to ask the question: Is there a definite link between the “mind” and the “body”? Questions like what is personal genomics; how does personal genomics work; and what sorts of benefits come with personal genomics, shall all be answered in this blog.

So what is personal genomics you might say? Well personal genomics is basically the practice of reading or encrypting genetic codes, which tell us about a person’s life style (Nelson, 2012). By reading a persons genes, practitioners in this field can accurately pin point “faults” or “disorders” occurring in your body’s systems and hopefully can rearrange the persons life style in order to prevent such occurrences (Massachusetts General Hospital, 2008). Examples of changing a persons life style are changing a persons diet, exercising more or changing occupation due to too high stress levels (Nelson, 2012). 

Text Box: Figure 1: Diagram of what certain life style factors create disease. Source: http://blog.openhelix.eu/?p=4381

So how does personal genomics work exactly? Well a study is the Massachusetts General Hospital in 2008, indicated that there was a direct link between the mind and body (Massachusetts General Hospital, 2008).  This study looked at a wide range of people, all with different life styles (Massachusetts General Hospital, 2008).  The study looked at the specific genetics codes of each individual and it was found that the people with the bad life styles, (ie: people who did not exercise much, ate the wrong sort of foods and people who had problems with coping with stress), were the ones who illustrated cell inflammation, increased programmed cell death and changes to how the cell deals with free radicals (Massachusetts General Hospital, 2008). It can therefore be concluded that a change in diet, increase in exercise and coping with stress levels all have an impact on the health of your mind and body (Massachusetts General Hospital, 2008).

So what benefits come with personal genomics? Well as stated in the study, a person who is concerned about there health can visit a health professional and get tested for all sorts of diseases and/or problems occurring in there body (Nelson, 2012). This new power of genetics can then be used to either prevent or treat diseases that the person could have (Nelson, 2012). Therefore the link between the mind and body is very important when looking at the overall health of the person (Nelson, 2012).

Overall, the world of genetics has evolved to the point at where a disease can be prevented before it actually happens. This process is called personal genomics, which is the means of examining a person’s genes.  This process should become a general practice within all medical practices as it can save time, money and lives. For more information about personal genomics, visit the following links:


Bibliography

Hospital, M. G., 2008. Massachusetts General Hospital. [Online]
Available at: http://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=1019
[Accessed 12 March 2012].
Khoury, M. J., 2011. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Online]
Available at: http://blogs.cdc.gov/genomics/2011/08/25/think-before-you-spit-do-personal-genomic-tests-improve-health/
[Accessed 12 March 2012].
Navigator, T., 2012. The Navigator. [Online]
Available at: http://blog.navigenics.com/articles/comments/the_end_of_illness_nightline_anchor_bill_weir_talks_with_navigenics_co_foun/
[Accessed 12 March 2012].
Nelson, E., 2012. Genetics expert Dr. David Agus recognizes disease fighting possibilities of mind. [Online]
Available at: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/consciousness-health/2012/mar/10/genetics-expert-recognizes-disease-fighting-possib/
[Accessed 12 March 2012].


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