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Glaucomics: A call for systems diagnostics for 21st century ophthalmology and personalized visual health

Publisher : OMICS A Journal of Integrative Biology

Campus : Amritapuri

School : School of Biotechnology

Year : 2014

Abstract : This article analyzes and theorizes the current knowledge silos at the intersection of omics science, ophthalmology, personalized medicine, and global visual health. Visual disorders represent one of the largest health care expenditures in the United States, costing $139 billion per year. In middle-income and industrialized countries, glaucoma is a World Health Organization priority category eye disease, known for difficulties in its early diagnosis, chronic progressive nature, and large person-to-person differences in drug efficacy and safety. A complex disease, glaucoma is best conceptualized as a syndrome displaying an ostensibly common clinical end-point, but with vastly heterogeneous molecular underpinnings and host-environment interactions. About 12% of all global blindness is attributable to glaucoma. Glaucomics is a term that we coin here so as to introduce omics science and systems diagnostics to ophthalmology, a field that can benefit enormously from personalized medicine, and which has sadly lagged behind in systems diagnostics compared to fields such as oncology. We define glaucomics as the integrated use of multi-omics and systems science approaches towards rational discovery, development, and tandem applications of diagnostics and therapeutics, for glaucoma specifically, and for personalized visual health, more broadly. We propose that glaucoma is one of the neglected lowest hanging fruits and actionable targets for omics and systems diagnostics in 21st century ophthalmology for the salient reasons we describe here. Additionally, we offer an analysis on two of the most pertinent neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), trachoma and river blindness, which continue to plague visual health in developing countries. We conclude with a call for research on omics applications in glaucoma and personalized visual health. © Copyright 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2014.

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