Dr. Vasilis Vasiliou
Exposome and Human Disease: From Neurological Disorders to Diabetes and Cancer
The exposome, encompassing the totality of environmental exposures throughout an individual’s lifetime, plays a pivotal role in shaping human health and disease. This emerging field of research sheds light on the intricate relationship between environmental factors and the development of various diseases, including neurological disorders, diabetes, and cancer. Neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and autism spectrum disorders, are multifaceted conditions with complex etiologies. The exposome framework provides a comprehensive approach to understanding how environmental factors, ranging from air and water pollution to chemical exposures, lifestyle choices, and psychosocial stressors, interact with genetic susceptibilities to influence neurological health outcomes. Diabetes, a global epidemic affecting millions, is influenced by a myriad of environmental factors. The exposome perspective underscores the significance of early-life exposures, such as prenatal and childhood exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, dietary factors, and urban environments, in shaping diabetes risk later in life. Moreover, the interplay between the exposome and the gut microbiome adds a new dimension to our understanding of diabetes pathogenesis. Cancer, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, is influenced by a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors. The exposome paradigm emphasizes the impact of diverse environmental exposures, including tobacco smoke, occupational hazards, chemical pollutants, radiation, and lifestyle factors, on cancer development and progression. Unraveling the exposome-cancer relationship holds great promise for improving prevention, early detection, and therapeutic strategies. Advancements in exposome research methodologies, including biomonitoring, omics technologies, and data analytics, are providing valuable insights into the intricate web of exposures and their effects on human health. Longitudinal cohort studies, combined with sophisticated exposure assessment tools, are uncovering the cumulative and interactive effects of multiple environmental exposures over time.