International Academy of Precision Medicine
The Revolution in Healthcare
The advent of precision medicine is as revolutionary as the discovery of germs which occurred over 100 years ago. While microscopes were needed then to peer down to see the tiny germs invisible to the naked eye, precision medicine focuses the “microscopes” millions of times further down into the world of molecules. Standard laboratory testing, such as a CBC (complete blood count) and CMP (“comprehensive” metabolic panel) assesses a few basic molecular parameters, but the “accepted standard of care” in medicine still emphasizes the older, pre-scientific definition of the term diagnosis, and mostly relies on establishing the diagnosis by the appearance of signs and symptoms. To the extent that molecular testing is ordered by the physician, it is supposed to be used to only confirm or deny a diagnosis determined by the history and physical.
The conventional and pre-scientific definition of the term “diagnosis” is about denoting the appearance of various conditions as is done in the ICD-10 and DSM IV classifications. The alternative, science-based definition of diagnosis in about determining the causes of dysfunction. Precision medicine, like the germ theory and all revolutionary advances in science, turns such older methodologies on their heads. Like a cardiologist who now relies more on the echocardiogram as opposed to the stethoscope, precision medicine is far more reliable than a history and physical exam for determining the cause(s) of chronic medical and psychiatric diseases and disorders. The history and physical are still important, but these are only useful for getting a sense about the functional severity of an illness and how the laboratory-determined abnormalities are expressing themselves in each patient as signs and symptoms.
Precision medicine defines at least 30 more biochemical, nutritional, immunological, infectious, toxic and genetic risk factors for cardiovascular disease besides the usual 8 stressed by cardiologists (high blood pressure, cholesterol, family history, diabetes, smoking etc.). It is poised to radically change medicine like the germ theory did, because it can define the causal risk factors for just about all diseases. When a careful search is made for hundreds of risk factors and they are carefully reversed or modified, the vast majority of patients get well. Aging is slowed. Years are added to life, and life is added to the years. The term for this is “optimal genetic (or epigenetic) expression.”
Although the ICD-10 has made substantive improvements in the classification of diseases based on appearance, it is already obsolete. From the PM perspective, diseases are understood to be maladaptive symptomatic expressions of an individual’s non-optimal genetic expression, based on easily identified immunological, toxicological, infectious, metabolic, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, physiological, nutritional, psychological (even psychospiritual) and genomic risk factors.
Precision medicine is not simply a revolution in healthcare, it’s the answer to the healthcare crisis. At the International Academy of Precision Medicine we intend to advance this noble objective. Our primary mission is to teach healthcare practitioners to be ever more proficient in the rigorous investigation of the actual causes of medical and psychiatric disorders and reversing them through risk factor analysis and science-based treatments.