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The Use Of Enzymes in Medicine

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The Use Of Enzymes in Medicine The application of enzymes in medicine (or enzymology) is a constantly evolving industry. This is mainly due to huge improvements in technology (recombinant DNA) and genetic engineering in recent years (Fullick, 2000). Enzymes form a critical part of understanding diseases and their causes, as enzyme deficiencies are often central to many genetic diseases. Some harmful bacteria are also more effective due to their enzyme activity (www.enzymes.co.uk /answer_medicine.htm). Medically used enzymes can be used to diagnose, treat and cure many medical problems or dysfunctions. Enzymes are a hugely important part of our own metabolic pathways and biological processes, but can also be used in an industrial format. Often referred to as organic catalysts, they allow metabolic reactions to occur and control these reactions in such a way that the amount of products produced can comfortably meet the needs of the cells. Enzymes are specific to certain biochemical reactions. The first application of enzymes in medicine I am going to examine is Analysis. Glucose oxidase and peroxidase are the most frequently used enzymes for analysis. ...read more.


* If the plate produces a fluorescent signal then the substance was present. The ELISA test is often the first stage in screening for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (Curry, 2002). This allows sufferers to be treated more quickly and will often prolong their lives. Similar tests can also be performed to test for the presence of certain enzymes. For example, a doctor may prescribe a test for liver enzymes in the bloodstream if he/she suspects a damaged liver may be the concern. The second application of enzymes I shall examine is pharmaceuticals. The Pharmaceutical industry has begun to see the advantages of enzymes and more and more products are placed on the open market every month. Minor medical problems can also be treated with enzymes. An example is the cleaning of teeth and dentures. Papain has a well known use; to remove stains from teeth (Pickering, 1994). Companies such as Novozymes (www.novozymes.com) are now producing enzymes which can clean not only dentures (EverlaseTM 6.0 T) ...read more.


Enzyme Replacement Therapy replaces the defected glucocerebrosidase for functioning glucocerebrosidase. Although ERT is likely to be a lifelong treatment, the patient often feels as though they have had a new lease of life (http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/ uvahealth/peds_genetics/vitamin.cfm). Enzymatic debridement a form of wound therapy which involves the breakdown of unwanted tissue, often enhanced through the use of enzymes. Enzymes often used in wound therapy include streptokinase and streptodonase (http://www.ncchta.org/fullmono/mon51 4.pdf). In conclusion, enzymes play a major part in the effectiveness of the medical industry on its patients. Enzymes allow doctors to diagnose people quicker and with much more accuracy than would be possible without biosensors or assays, allowing treatment to be more successful. The pharmaceutical industry also received a huge boost when the properties of enzymes were put to good use. Drugs to aid digestion, enzymes which aid teeth cleanliness and anti-inflammatory agents allow for quick and easy treatment of minor medical annoyances. And finally the application of enzymes in hospitals, such as Enzyme replacement therapy and to aid surgical processes, often results in life saving or life prolonging treatment being successful. Many people would be much more seriously ill without the application of enzymes in medicine. ...read more.

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