Predictive medicine is a young branch of medical science based on the clinical significance associated to certain genetic variants (polymorphisms) present in the population, which may give rise to a higher risk of becoming affected by a given pathology. Predictive medicine can be applied in the field of multifactorial diseases, the trigger of which is based on genetic, environmental and behavioral factors.
The identification of the genetic risk (genetic susceptibility, hereditary predisposition) allows to modify the environmental and behavioral factors thanks to the adoption of personalized prevention protocols, with the aim to lower the overall risk of onset of the disease.
Predictive medicine has already found important clinical applications in ophthalmology and to date several genetic tests allow to detect the genetic susceptibility for important eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), keratoconus and different types of corneal dystrophies. Predictive medicine is a great ally of patients as well as of ophthalmologists, as the identification of a genetic risk facilitates medical decisions, such as the opportunity to undertake certain therapeutic strategies and surgical procedures.