• Why We Focus on Predictive Medicine and Longevity

    by Dr. Harlan South
    on Apr 21st, 2018

Advanced Health is very proud to announce the opening of a new, and expanded clinic, specifically to focus on providing Predictive and Age Management Medicine, as an expansion and a supplement to our continued Integrative and Functional Medicine practice. At the new Institute for Predictive Medicine & Longevity, Dr. Lonnele Ball, PhD and Dr. Harlan South, M.D. leverage state-of-the-art technologies to focus on disease prevention and health optimization, with a personalized approach to concierge medicine.

Predictive and Age Management Medicine

Predictive Medicine explores probable or likely diseases, and proactively strives to either prevent them or to lay foundational groundwork to significantly reduce their eventual severity. The primary means by which eventual diseases are predicted is through genetic or genomic analyses, but proteomics (the study of proteins) and cytomics (the study of cellular biology) are valuable avenues as well.

Prenatal screening is a common example of predictive medicine, but the field is also hugely beneficial for children or adults. For instance, genetic risk factors for heart disease, say, or Alzheimer’s might illuminate an early treatment path to significantly reduce eventual morbidity, or prevent a disease from becoming life-threatening.

A related and emerging field is Age Management Medicine. This emerging field recognizes and anticipates the unique challenges presented by aging, or by andro- and menopause, and in particular their impacts on various bodily systems. Age Management Medicine is usually practiced in advance of any symptoms or age-related ailments, as a preventative measure to ensure optimal lifelong health. In particular, the changes to various hormones and balances in the body are considered for their potential negative impact on wellness, and though these cannot always be undone, they can be supplemented or counteracted to help preserve a lasting quality of life well into old age.

Age Management Medicine also has a strong emphasis on cognitive strength and wellness, with the aim of lessening or preventing various types of dementia. With early identification, relatively moderate forms of dementia can be overcome.

Advanced Health’s Newly Expanded Clinic

The Institute for Predictive Medicine & Longevity was founded to expand the scope of the kinds of medicine offered by Advanced Health, building on their foundation of Integrative and Functional medicine. The new clinic’s practice begins with a full diagnostic screening of the immune and endocrine systems, as well as a comprehensive analysis of nutritional biomarkers. These analyses are augmented by metabolic, genomic, and microbiomic screenings to fully assess an individual’s risk of disease, hormone imbalance, or nutritional deficiency, especially in cases where these conditions might lead to more severe ailments or diseases later in life.

Depending on the needs of the patient, the Institute might offer a personalized nutritional program tailored to that patient’s particular metabolomics and microbiomics. This would be provided alongside high quality nutritional supplementation, personalized wellness coaching, or even intravenous nutritional therapy for more severe cases.

To address symptoms of andropause, menopause, and somatopause (deficiencies in growth hormones), as well as metabolic syndrome or sexual ill-health, each patient’s hormone profile will be optimized, thereby treating a variety of symptoms.

With the aim of preventing or reversing dementia, the Institute has undertaken an exciting new initiative in the form of their Cognitive Health Program. Cutting-edge industry technologies, including wearable sensors which transmit real-time patient data, are used to optimize treatment and to empower behavioural interventions to improve and enhance a patient’s longevity and vitality.

Driven by Data

By collecting and monitoring so many different elements of a patient’s health, as well as trends and prognoses from genetic and other analyses, the Institute is able to build an actionable dataset to inform treatment paths or illuminate new options for promoting lifelong wellness. As monitoring is ongoing, that dataset will continue to grow over time. With ongoing lifestyle monitoring, and tracking of personal habits, as well as by tracking changes in various metrics, sometimes over years, it will be possible to further refine and more exactly tailor the appropriate treatment options for any given patient.

Predictive Medicine is built on data, and by bringing in elements from so many different sources, it is possible to develop a robust and comprehensive dataset that just isn’t possible in more conventional Western medicine.

Focusing on a Health-Span

As technology and social infrastructure improve, we’re getting better at living longer. That’s an increase to the average human lifespan that we can be proud of. But aging isn’t just about raw longevity. Rather than an increase to the lifespan, the institute’s approach to medicine focuses on increasing the Health-Span, or the period of life spent without serious disease or infirmity.

It’s the primary goal of the institute not only to extend life, but to extend that period of life which is lived in total mental and bodily wellness. Towards that end, the institute partners with the brightest minds, the most talented physicians, and the most compassionate caregivers, and utilizes the most cutting-edge technology and most innovative approaches to Predictive Medicine possible.

If you or a loved one is ready to take an active role in the management of your lifelong health and wellness, consider attending a talk given by Dr. Lonnele Ball, PhD and Dr. Harlan South, M.D. on Wednesday, May 16th, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Advanced Health.  You can also contact Dr Lonnele Ball for more information.

Author Dr. Harlan South Dr. Harlan South is a Holistic Integrative and Age Management Physician located in Pacific Heights, San Francisco.

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