Gene therapy advantages and disadvantages
Gene therapy as the process of transplanting genes has developed normally in place of genes that may be missing or have emerged abnormally to correct a genetic disorder. It is a technique that is still in its experimental periods, and so involves some advantages and disadvantages.
The advantage of gene therapy is that it provides an opportunity for affected individuals to lead a normal life. Some gene therapies have even suggested the chance to survive because the genetic disorder is diagnosed as being fatal without an intervention.
On the other hand, the disadvantage of gene therapy highlight that gene therapy, similar to other medical procedures, may not be useful. The experimental nature of these therapies refer to high costs that many health insurance policies cannot cover it.
Some of the advantages and disadvantages of gene therapy are briefly listed in the below.
Gene therapy Advantages
- Ability to replace defective cells.
Human beings have always been prone to various health conditions, where a discovery of one treatment would apparently come with the emergence of a new disease. Usually, we are always threatened by newer and more dangerous types of pathogens, and while many diseases can be treated medically, there would be no cure for genetic disorders unless we replace defective cells by healthy ones. Well, this is what gene therapy is developed for.
- It promises a great untapped potential.
One great aspect about gene therapy that is noted by scientists and researchers is the remarkable therapeutic potential it promises.
- It can eradicate diseases.
To target defective reproductive cells, it is believed that we can eliminate health defects for good. People who suffer from genetic disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, will be greatly helped by gene therapy.
Gene therapy Disadvantages
- It may damage the gene pool.
It is believed that gene therapy might modify the human gene pool permanently if it was done to a certain degree. Besides, this type of treatment will most likely be for the rich only, indefinitely making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
- It would change human capabilities.
This is a great weakness of gene therapy—it can enhance and alter human capabilities, which means that the standards for normal human life would be modified. By experimenting with the technology, certain countries could develop enhanced and unstoppable armies.
- It has the potential to give rise in other disorders.
There is an exact point in the host genome where the right genes should be brought in, while there is no assurance that the viral enzyme used in the process can bring in the right genes at such point. When things go wrong, severe disorders can happen.
Maybe with more reports of success, gene therapy would be embraced by the general public. However, it is important to note the drawbacks that come with gene therapy.