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Measuring Telomere Lengths to Make Smart Treatment Decisions

Telomeres are what you call the endcaps present in one’s DNA. According to studies from scientists and physicians, you get a five percent variability rate from the length of you telomeres when you measure it. For patients with particular conditions, testing the length of the telomere has been proven to help health professionals decide on the best treatment for them. These diseases are often associated with specific kinds of bone marrow failure. Telomere length testing has been proven to offer health professionals a lot of benefits in more ways than one, especially in dealing with their patients. A lot of research studies have been shown to prove the association between telomere length tests and treatment recommendations. This article will provide you a glimpse of these many studies.

When it comes to studies carried out on particular health conditions, scientists have shown that there are diseases related to short telomeres. A report published last February proved that measuring telomere lengths results in determining individuals who are at risk of developing health conditions associated with short telomeres. A group of genetic diseases that manifest as bone marrow failure or pulmonary fibrosis are characterized by having very short telomeres. Between 5,000 and 10,000 Americans have health conditions that are associated with short telomeres. These diseases prove to affect more people in the same number as those suffering from particular kinds of leukemia. If you compare the prevalence with its present estimates, the former is even higher than the latter.

For the measurement of telomere length to be accurate, the use of a clinically reliable tool is a must. This is most common in the hospital setting. The results of the telomere length measurement tests are then made available to doctors. These results are used by doctors for them to provide their patients proper diagnosis as well as give them proper treatment advice.

Telomeres are crucial parts of your DNA because they offer protection for its ends. If you happen to see plastic tubes from the ends of your shoelaces, these parts of your DNA function as such. They naturally shorten as you age. When it comes to telomeres of your DNA, they are made of repetitive DNA sequences. The length of normal telomeres are enough to withstand erosion and damages that take place over a normal cell lifespan. Cells with short telomeres are unable to withstand these damages and erosion. They are far easier to blow up DNA endcaps. This is one of the reasons why people go through certain health conditions. Bone marrow failure and pulmonary fibrosis are not the only disease conditions that people with short telomeres are at risk of. Other conditions that these people can suffer from include other types of cancers, myelodysplastic syndrome, liver disease, and emphysema. This is why it is important to have tests that accurately measure telomere length.

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