[Answered] What are biomarkers? Discuss its potential applications.

Demand of the question
Introduction. What are biomarkers?
Body. Various applications of biomarkers.
Conclusion. Contextual Conclusion.

A biomarker is anything that can be used as an indicator of a particular disease state or some other physiological state of an organism. In medicine, a biomarker is a measurable indicator of the severity or presence of some disease state. It can be a substance that is introduced into an organism as a means to examine organ function or other aspects of health.

Potential Applications of biomarkers:

  1. It can be used as a substance for detection of a particular disease state. E.g. the presence of an antibody as Biomarker may indicate an infection.
  2. A biomarker indicates a change in expression or state of a protein that is useful to monitor the risk or track the progression of a disease to a given treatment.
  3. Biomarkers can be characteristic biological properties or molecules that can be detected and measured in parts of the body like the blood or tissue. They may indicate either normal or diseased processes in the body.
  4. Biomarkers can be useful in studying complex organ functions or general characteristic changes in biological structures.
  5. Biomarkers are used in pre-clinical research and clinical diagnosis. E.g cholesterol is a biomarker and risk indicator for coronary and vascular disease.
  6. They help in evaluating the most effective therapeutic treatment for a particular cancer type and help in establishing long-term susceptibility to cancer or its recurrence.
  7. Biomarkers help in drug target identification, drug response etc.
  8. A biomarker is evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes or pharmacological responses to a therapeutic intervention.
  9. Biomarkers also have the potential to identify neurological disease at an early stage, to provide a method for homogeneous classification of a disease, and to extend our knowledge-base concerning the underlying disease pathogenesis.
  10. Biomarkers can also be used to assess the effectiveness of particular therapies in ameliorating the effects of a disease.
  11. By using easily obtained and assayed biomarkers to monitor a patient’s reaction to a particular drug, it is possible to determine whether treatment is effective for that individual by measuring drug response rate or toxic effects associated with the drug.
  12. Biomarkers can be used to detect a change in the physiological state of a patient that correlates with the risk or progression of a disease or with the susceptibility of a disease to a given treatment.

Thus biomarkers help in diagnosing, treating and tracking disease progress. They are important to safeguard health of an individual and provide them with proper treatment.

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