Unleashing the Power of Genomics

A Conversation with Dr. Sharon Husman-Cohen, Co-Founder and Medical Director of IntellxxDNA

Welcome to an enlightening conversation with Dr. Sharon Husman-Cohen, a visionary in the field of genomics and the co-founder of IntellxxDNA. In this interview, we embark on a personal journey into the realm of genomics and its transformative impact on healthcare. Dr. Husman-Cohen shares her profound insights on how IntellxxDNA, a groundbreaking genomic platform, is reshaping medical practices by tailoring treatments to individual patients. Get ready to delve into the world of precision medicine, where the mysteries of chronic diseases, mental health, and so much more are unraveled through the incredible power of genomics. This captivating conversation will take you on a journey through the realm of genomics, offering a glimpse into the future of healthcare where individualized treatments are no longer a distant dream but a tangible reality.

Good morning everyone. I have the pleasure of speaking today with Dr Sharon Husman-Cohen
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who’s IntellxxDNA co-founder and medical director. Welcome! Thank you thank you so much for having me.
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I’m excited to be here today and to talk with you about how you’re using Genomics or IntellxxDNA
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in your practice and how it can improve your patients health journey and health outcomes.
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Tell me a little bit about how your transition into integrative or precision Medical Practice.
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So I was working at Mount Sinai Medical Center here in Miami Beach. I was working way
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too many hours; I wasn’t dedicating enough time to my patients… and as you know when
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you don’t have resources, like IntellxxDNA there is a lot of trial and error that
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we have to do before we come up with a diagnosis or the right treatment plan.
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So one of the reasons that I’m so excited to be using IntellxxDNA, is that…
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we get the report, we know what’s specific for that patient and we can target that.
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Yeah…I think that people want more precision in their lives.
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When you think about chronic illness, when you think about dementia, heart disease, autism,
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depression, anxiety…we come up with these algorithms, but we don’t really say what is
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the root cause. A genetic illness, is an illness that is transmitted by a gene from parents to
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children. And so if you find a cure for a disease that is caused by one gene, it’s going
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to kind of work uniformly. But chronic diseases that are common, heart disease affects so many
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people, diabetes so many people, cognitive decline again, depression, anxiety… They’re not caused by one
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gene. They’re caused by the combination of multiple genes interacting with each other, and environment.
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And there may be different causes that are part of the puzzle, sometimes even more. And so
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the benefit of using genomics on chronic illness is now you can say “Okay, you have anxiety but it’s
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not because of your serotonin. Your serotonin pathway, that’s known to contribute to anxiety,
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looks really good. It’s because of your adrenaline pathway. So for you, we want to talk about how do
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we lower your adrenaline. How do we do it with supplements. How do we do it with lifestyle.”
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The big advantage of genomics is, all of a sudden we take medicine from “here’s what we do for
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depression, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease” to “here’s what we can do for you to get your chronic
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illness under control” …and that is bringing medicine into the current century. I mean if
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you look at medicine, there’s so much that hasn’t changed in 100 years, and we’ve got to change it.
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If you look under diabetes, on for example 23andMe, they talk about one gene TCF7L2, don’t worry about
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the names, but that gene does increase your risk of diabetes more than two-fold so it’s important.
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But that was in 47% of the population. So again it’s just one piece of the puzzle. And they don’t tell
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you what to do about it. So our big differences is our focus, it relates to things that you want
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to know about if you’re trying to optimize your health; it’s not about ancestry. We do a lot that
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relates to the brain health… which is again very unique for IntellixxDNA. And most importantly it’s
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actionable and evidence-based. That approach means that you won’t miss nutritional causes, gut causes,
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inflammatory causes that are mimicking as brain symptoms. I think that one of the really fun things
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is you see outcomes that you don’t even expect. So we have had patients come in and they think
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they’re having Alzheimer’s. They think they’re having some cognitive decline…
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and it ended up being problems with their detox pathways, problems with their gut. And they actually
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had genes that gave them kind of a negative risk for Alzheimer’s (made their cognition better). And
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as soon as we addressed some of these different nutrient things, and cognitive contributing factors
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from gut, and inflammation… they were better. So I think that there’s lots of exciting medical
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mysteries that get solved. From gut to brain symptoms, and everything in between. And it
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just depends on what the patients basic concerns are’.
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How do you compare intellect’s DNA to other existing platforms on the market?
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So IntellxxDNA’s mission is to help people optimize
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their health. Not just on the level of nutrients. So some of the different genomic platforms out
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there specifically target nutrigenomics, some of them will target specific lifestyle things
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like, you know “What kind of an athlete am I? Am I endurance?” Or you know, that kind of characteristics.
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And IntellxxDNA is the only company I know of that has extremely extensive work in the field of
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brain science. And that is really, really important because of what’s called the blood-brain barrier.
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So we have like a whole separation between our blood and our brain and that’s to keep things
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out of our brain, but it means you can’t do blood tests and kind of know what’s going on with the
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brain. So if you’re looking for optimizing cognition, if you’re looking for optimizing
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depression, anxiety, ADHD, again autism, anything that relates to the brain…IntellxxDNA focuses on that .
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Yeah again, impressive. Actually I asked some of my patients for a few questions.
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The first question: How does IntellxxDNA protect the privacy of their clients?
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Yeah, so IntellxxDNA takes privacy concerns very seriously. Many companies make their money in
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fact by selling your data to other organizations. They, again, the direct to Consumer Reports… they’re
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being sold directly, your information is being sold directly to Pharma. IntellxxDNA, when you
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get your kit and it’s just a buckle swab; it’s a cheek swab it is under a barcode. And our lab
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has it stored literally just under a barcode. You will not ever have your results shared unless
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you explicitly say “Please share this result with another physician”
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yeah, I know you guys are very precise on how to order the test so there is no information even when we place the orders.
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We have to like scan the bar barcode there is no patient information when I send out a request.
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So the next question: Since the report is only a once in a lifetime, buckle swap. How can
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any future discoveries be shared with the patient?
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So there’s two different things that happen have our chronic medical overview, kind of diseases and medical overview, we have our mental
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wellness, we have our cognitive decline… as what there is a gene that we want to add information
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on to the report, we will put it into everybody’s report that has it and update the report. The main
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thing that is really important to understand when you’re ordering a DNA test, is your DNA doesn’t
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change. If you get the cancer then obviously that gene changes. And so it’s more about the utility
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that you can use your report when you’re young and you’re saying “Okay, I want to be proactive
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and I have heart disease running in my family”. And you find out that you have a gene that affects
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calcium buildup in the arteries, and you take vitamin K2… and you know you feel like
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you don’t have good energy. And so we optimize some of the nutrigenomics and some of the things that
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relate to your mitochondria and different things. And then you get older and you’re like “Okay, I want
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to… I just got my bone density back, and I think I’m ready to talk about what can I do so I don’t
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go from osteopenia to osteoporosis.” So you can use it at different times in your life. At least 80%… 85%
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maybe even 90% of the time, people see noticeable improvement in something.
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How do you justify the higher cost in IntellxxDNA?
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IntellixxDNA is a validated report where all of the snips that we report on, all of them are performing at that over 99% accuracy. So that’s really helpful to know that
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the technology is, it not all technologies are the same, and I won’t go into the details… but we do use
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a very, very accurate technology and spend time on validation. IntellxxDNA, we’re taking hundreds
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of thousands of hours of work, and putting it at your fingertips, and making it actionable.
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So what patients are paying for is not the genomic sequencing. Genomic sequencing has become cheap, but
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where intellic DNA shines is it allows a physician or a licensed healthcare provider to say “Okay this
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is what this gene does. And it’s not just what the gene does… this variant makes you have more of this
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gene product or less of this gene product… here’s a list of supplements that can then, also help you to
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modulate that gene, that can help with whatever we’re talking about. Whether it be cognition, or
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depression, or anxiety. And we also act as even a reference tool beyond that. Giving further
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information about about everything in the report. From typical dosing used in studies, references
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in studies. And so, it’s kind of like a textbook of personalized medicine that is put in the DNA for
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that person. Higher cost is that you’re paying not just for the sequencing, but for all that
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information. One of my colleagues, who used to be at the IFM as a physician there, now she’s in
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private practice, and what took her seven years of trial and error with her patient, one
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of her patients. We were able to figure out in 45 minutes with IntellxxDNA. There’s one more
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factor I’d love to talk about, when we talk about cost. When you talk about cognition, when you talk
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about depression, or anxiety, when you talk about chronic health… again autism, but chronic health
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conditions as well… the bulk of the cost is borne by the patient. So they showed that 70% of the cost
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of depression, untreated, is borne by the patient because they don’t go and get job promotions…
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they are underemployed, or unemployed, or don’t have the quality of life. When you talk about cognitive
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decline, one year in memory care is over seven thousand dollars. If you’re going to get outcomes,
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then that’s worth it. And one of my patients, it was a child, but the father said for a particular
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condition he had had, they had spent seventy thousand dollars. Running around the country
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getting second opinions, trying to optimize their child’s health. And that in three months with
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IntellxxDNA they had more progress than they’ve had in 10 years with just your trial
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and error method. So that’s why you would do it.
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Yeah, no I agree. I’m in love. It’s pretty impressive. Both as a patient doing it and also as a physician… it’s a lot of information
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in that report, so I’m extremely happy I did it myself, so…
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So let me ask you this, how… if patients want to work with you in Miami or elsewhere, how do they reach you?
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Of course, we prefer like in-person visits, but I also do telehealth.
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The office is a beautiful location here in North Miami, but they can send me an email to
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drperez@agebettermiami.com or they can call the office at 305-456-4606
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And if there are people outside of the Miami area, or outside of Florida, or looking for IntellxxDNA
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providers for children, or adults, they can go to our website www.intellixxDNA.com …and it’s
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intellxxdna.com …and put in where they are based and we can give them a list of doctors doing
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both telemedicine and live visits and we have both we have naturopaths, we have
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allopathic doctors, we have nurse practitioners. We have a wide variety of practitioners to
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meet different people’s needs. Reach out to us and look at our website. Also, if people want
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to learn more, it’s a great resource. We have a number of publications on our website. We have
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a number of podcasts. If they want to… we didn’t really have time for a lot of case studies, but
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I think the case studies are also fun to do with slides.. so there’s quite a few on our
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website that people can use. And know that IntellxxDNA will help you be your best self.

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