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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2012, Volume 6, Issue 1 doi: 10.1007/s11684-012-0173-y

Individualized medicine, health medicine, and constitutional theory in Chinese medicine

Center for Studies in Constitution Research of Traditional Chinese Medicine, School of Basic Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China

Available online: 2012-03-05

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The patterns of modern science and changes in the medical model can result in the transformation of the current state of individualized and health medicines into being the primary trend in medical development. Chinese and Western medical systems are dissimilar in terms of value orientations, thinking style, and research directions because of their different historical and cultural backgrounds. Individualized treatment in modern medicine is mainly established based on individual genome information and the differences in mononucleotide polymorphi-sms. However, such treatment method is expensive, creates an uncertain genetic marker, and leads to different result interpretations, among other problems. The Chinese constitutional theory developed in the 1970s expresses the principle behind Chinese health medicine and individual treatment and provides the corresponding methods. The Chinese constitutional theory divides the constitution of the Chinese population into nine categories based on established classification criteria. It promotes the study of the relationship of each constitution to diseases and Chinese medicine preparation toward adjusting the constitution and preventing diseases. The theory also provides methods and tools for individualized treatment. Constitution identification shows the direction and provides the core technology for the evaluation of the health status. By combining the developments in modern biotechnology, new diagnostic techniques and treatment models of constitution-differentiation, disease-differentiation, and syndrome-differentiation can be established for the development of individualized Chinese medicine treatment and health medicine for the international medical community.

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