BME 695N Lecture 1: Need for New Perspectives on Medicine

By James Leary

Purdue University

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  1. The Progression of Medicine
    1. Conventional "modern" medicine
    2. "Personalized" or "molecular" medicine
    3. Nanomedicine "single-cell" medicine
  2. How Conventional Medicine Works for Diagnosis of Disease
    1. Identification of the "diseased state"
    2. Simple measurements of body structure and function
    3. Follow-up clinical tests
    4. Internal examinations by non-invasive in-vivo imaging
    5. Molecular tests for specific gene properties
    6. Comparison of individual results with "normal ranges"
  3. How Conventional Medicine Works for Treatment of Disease
    1. Stabilization of patient – "heal thyself"
    2. Surgical repair of injuries
    3. Treatment with drugs locally
    4. Treatment with drugs systemically
    5. Treatment with targeted therapies
  4. Factors Limiting the Progress of Medicine
    1. Economics
    2. Politics
  5. Some Specific Problems with Conventional Medicine
    1. Consequences of waiting for patient symptoms
    2. Trained people and modern drugs are expensive
    3. Diagnostic technologies, if available, are still relatively primitive and/or expensive
    4. Crude targeting of drugs
  6. Personalized Medicine
    1. Based on genetic characteristics of the individual patient
    2. Specific gene rearrangments or mutations
    3. Specific SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms)
  7. Nanomedicine
    1. Medicine performed at single cell level
    2. Possibility of "regenerative medicine"
    3. Blurring of distinction between prevention and treatment


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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • James Leary (2007), "BME 695N Lecture 1: Need for New Perspectives on Medicine,"

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