7 Central Pros and Cons of Gene Therapy

Gene therapy is the process of replacing defective genes in a person’s genetic makeup with healthy, corrected ones. It has been proven effective in treating a wide variety of genetic diseases, that are otherwise incurable. The way it works is by sending the cell, with the help of a virus for transport, to whatever part of the body needs healthy genes. The cell then begins to build the corrected RNA to help solve the problem Many people believe that this is diving too far into the natural being of humans, and shouldn’t be done. Others think that it is a beautiful breakthrough in technology and should be used to it’s full potential. In this article, we will talk about all the good and bad effects that gene therapy may have.

The Pros of Gene Therapy

1. The Potential Could Be Monumental

There are endless genetic diseases and mutations that can occur in the human body. We are naturally prone to these because of the complexity of our makeup. With gene therapy being able to treat some of these disorders effectively, it is unimaginable the benefits that may be enjoyed from it’s use.

2. Has Proved Useful In Many Cases

There are many people with diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s who are already using gene therapy to lessen the effect of their disease. While they have not been able to fully cure a person of any of these disease just yet, they are slowing the rate of progression down significantly and improving the quality of life of the patient.

3. Could End The Disease For Good

By changing the genetic makeup of a person, you are also changing the possibility of the disease they are carrying from being passed on to their offspring. If used in a large scale, it is fully possible for gene therapy to eradicate deadly illnesses, such as Cystic Fibrosis.

The Cons of Gene Therapy

1. The Ethical Problems Are Prevalent

Anything that involves changing the natural, genetic makeup of a person or living being comes with it’s own set of issues. People believe that this is “playing God” and is not something that should be tampered with.

2. Development of New Diseases

While you may be curing some diseases caused by genetic issues, you could be creating brand new ones that the world is not prepared to handle. Anytime you mess with genes, there is a risk of mutation.

3. The Results Aren’t That Impressive

So far, the trials done for gene therapy haven’t proved to be too impressive. The trend has been a slight improvement for a short period of time, and then the condition going back to the way it was after not very long. In order for gene therapy to gain more support and momentum, the processes and uses would need to be improved.

4. It’s Expensive

The equipment, supplies, and knowledge that is needed to perform gene therapies are very high in cost. These treatments are also not likely covered by any insurance plan that normal people have. So how would you receive these treatments? With money of course! This would mean that only the very wealthy people would have access to them, causing an entirely new set of problems.

Important Facts About Gene Therapy

  • Muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease are the ones that would benefit most from gene therapy.
  • Currently, it requires multiple different rounds of gene therapy for the practice to have any true beneficial treatment value.
  • The two different types of gene therapies are: Somatic gene therapy, and Germline gene therapy.
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