A “snip” can tell a lot.
When we talk about how genetic variations influence the way a body processes drugs it’s critical to talk about SNPs.
“SNPs” (or “snips”), stands for single nucleotide polymorphisms. SNPs are single-nucleotide substitutions of one base for another. Each SNP location in the genome can have up to four versions: one for each nucleotide, A, C, G, and T. Any change in the order of these letters can affect an entire gene, which in turn affects metabolism.
There are millions of SNPs in the human genome. For researchers who work in the field of pharmacogenetics, the idea is to find a connection between SNPs and a response to medication. SNPs can, therefore, be used as a predictive marker of whether a person may react well or poorly to a given medication BEFORE the medication is even taken. This could potentially save patients and healthcare professionals time and money, by eliminating the “trial and error” approach to choosing an appropriate treatment.