Take Control of Your Health
The Health Nucleus evaluation provides an unprecedented, data-driven quantitative health assessment designed to screen for risk factors and early signals of the most critical diseases to know more about your health than ever before.
Full-body non-contrast MRI used to detect signals of solid tumor cancers for further evaluation (excludes cancers such as skin, breast and cancers of GI tract, including colon).
Neurodegenerative/ Neurovascular Disease
Specialized brain MRI scan which can give data relating to brain injuries, signs of dementia and other brain disorders.
MRI can measure percentage of liver fat, as well as visceral abdominal fat, giving you and your physician insights into your health status related to diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
MRI provides insights into the major functional aspects of the heart (excludes evaluation of the coronary arteries).
WHOLE GENOME SEQUENCING
By leveraging cutting-edge technology, advanced whole genome sequencing (WGS) analyzes all of your DNA—unlike some tests that may only provide isolated information about a few traits or disease risks—to give you more complete insights into your health, as well as your risks and opportunities for the future. WGS provides insights into your genetic risks for many health conditions, pharmacogenomics which provides information about medications you may respond to and if there are some you should avoid, as well as insights on your traits and ancestry.
While the genome is a key tool, it isn’t an absolute diagnostic or a specific roadmap for your health. There is much of the genome that we still don’t yet understand.
That’s where our research comes in, and that’s why our proprietary integration with the Health Nucleus’ phenotypic data is so significant, because it allows us to better understand the genome when paired with phenotypic information and pave the way for truly personalized precision medicine.
Metabolic (diabetes, liver disease)
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)
Our whole body MRI (including Cardiac MRI) is a significant component of your Health Nucleus experience as it generates the most comprehensive images of your body. We have the most advanced MRI machines available today and unique software and tools to interpret those MRI images.
In addition to using advanced MRI technology, our team analyzes the imaging data with proprietary and specialized algorithms to provide valuable insights optimized to generate an unparalleled snapshot of your current health status.
Frequently Asked Questions
The MRI is a multisensory experience and takes approximately 60-90 minutes, including breaks. You will be asked to lie flat with a series of “coils” placed around your head and body that help in generating high quality images. Headphones will be provided along with your choice of music, if this is your preference, as well as a series of soothing visuals from which to choose. Clients experience loud noises of varying pitch and duration, along with normal movement and vibration of the table. Due to the unique nature of this test, we ask clients who are or could be claustrophobic to bring oral sedation with them. This can be prescribed in advance of your visit by your primary care physician.
On site, our techs offer a series of calming techniques including aromatherapy, audio and video entertainment, and guided meditation designed to make you as comfortable as possible.
The MRI scanners at the Health Nucleus are 3 Tesla (or 3T) with the latest hardware and software upgrades to enhance detection capabilities and reduce scan time. These MRI procedures are non-invasive, radiation free and do not use any contrast dye. This scan provides both qualitative and quantitative measures to establish your own personal baseline.
Our full-body, cardiac and brain MRI takes about 60 – 90 minutes in total. This would take two to three times that long with other MRI scanners using conventional protocols, coils and software and the images would not contain as much signal and have less spatial resolution.
In addition to using advanced MRI technology, our team analyzes the imaging data with proprietary and specialized algorithms to provide valuable insights optimized to provide:
- Quantitative brain analysis for signs of dementia and other brain disorders
- Detailed cardiac scan including heart structure and quantitative functional analysis
- A whole-body scan that can detect some solid organ tumors. This protocol uses advanced diffusion imaging based methods to differentiate high-grade cancerous tumors from benign or low-grade lesions.
- Metabolic analysis, including body and liver fat measures
Health Nucleus focuses on early detection and prevention of diseases like cancer and cardiac disease, as well as metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases.
Testing as recommended by your primary care physician and the US Preventative Task Force including mammography, pap smears and colonoscopy are important components of prevention. Health Nucleus is not designed to replace your annual physical – but rather supplement your medical care with integrated genomic and phenotypic insights.
Health Nucleus is the first health platform to integrate whole genome analysis with advanced, non-invasive MRI methods and other clinical testing to provide you with an expanded view of your current health. By integrating the findings from the Health Nucleus into your health planning, you and your physician may gain insights to better inform future physicals, tests and treatments informed by your specific areas of risks.
By participating in a Health Nucleus assessment, you may benefit from the following:
- Early identification of disease risk or onset that may not have otherwise been discovered until development of symptoms. (Examples include identifying insulin resistance which can precede diabetes).
- Detection of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration and neurovascular disease via our imaging and clinical tests. Should a genetic variant associated with a preventable disease be identified in your genome, you may gain insight about lifestyle modifications or methods for early screening that could assist in prevention or identifying onset of the disease in the early, more treatable stage.
- Results of genetic data and information may be useful for other family members.
- A comprehensive cardiac assessment including Coronary Calcium Scoring (for clients over 35 years of age) which measures calcified plaque which can predict risk of coronary artery disease. HN X testing also includes a two-week wireless cardiac rhythm monitor and a core panel of laboratory tests to provide insight on early signals of disease risk factors.
A Health Nucleus assessment includes the following steps:
- Pre-Visit Consent Call – We want you to be prepared for your visit, which includes understanding the clinical and research aspects of our program. You will be scheduled for a 30-minute consent call with one of our clinicians prior to your visit. The purpose of this call is to ensure that you understand your participation in the research study, as well as to inform you of what is included in the testing and results delivery. During this call, a member of our clinical team will explain what is included in your Whole Genome Sequencing report and you will have the opportunity to opt in or out of certain genomic results. You will also be asked questions that allow us to ensure that you are safe for the MRI portion of the testing. Following the call, you will receive an electronic copy of the consent form to review and sign via our secure portal.
- Personal health and family survey: To make your Health Nucleus experience the most relevant and provide you with personalized insights, we will ask you to complete a few health surveys. This allows us to best tailor the results of your assessment.
- Health Nucleus Visit – A week before your appointment, we will send you information so you can best prepare for your Health Nucleus assessment. Your Health Nucleus visit will take place at our clinic in La Jolla, California. On arrival at the Health Nucleus, one of our concierge team members will escort you to your private client suite. In your suite, we will review your schedule and escort you through the different assessments.
- Review of Initial Results – The initial review of your results will be scheduled 2-3 weeks of your appointment. In this meeting, we review the data from the imaging analysis, and any lab tests that were conducted for your assessment.
Integrated Health Report – In approximately 4-6 weeks of your Health Nucleus visit, your complete Health Nucleus report session will be scheduled. At this time, our team of multidisciplinary specialists will have reviewed and assembled the data into a summary report where we consolidate your genomic findings with your phenotype data.
The Health Nucleus Whole Genome report may include medically significant results, as well as other non-clinical information such as traits and ancestry. The Whole Genome report provides insights on your genetic risk for certain illnesses or diseases. Your genes are not the only deciding factor for whether or not you will develop certain diseases and their influence varies depending on the disease.
The Health Nucleus Whole Genome Reports looks at known disease-associated genes, including:
- ACMG 59 – This consists of a list of 59 important genes as defined by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG). If mutations are found in these genes, they should be reported to individuals because of their potential high medical importance and actionability.
- Disease risks - Identifies medically actionable genetic variants associated with significant current or future health risks across 70 complex diseases:
- Cardiovascular and Metabolic
- Immunologic, Renal, Respiratory, Hematologic and Rheumatologic
- Pharmacogenomics - Helps to predict your responses to 40+ medications, including differences in drug effectiveness and side effects.
- Carrier screening - If you are planning a family, understand if you are a carrier of 242+ inherited conditions.
Health Traits/Risks – Provide you with your genetic risk assessment to understand if your DNA has variants that can increase or decrease your risk for different health conditions including the following:
- Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Type – association with disease risk.
- Bone health (e.g. Bone mineral density, osteoarthritis)
- Cancer – inherited gene risk of known cancer-related genes (e.g. bladder, colorectal, esophageal, lung, melanoma, pancreatic, thyroid).
- Cardiovascular health (e.g. Hypertension, Coronary artery disease [CAD], stroke, atrial fibrillation)
- Connective tissue (Achilles tendinopathy)
- Food intolerance and allergy (e.g. Lactose intolerance, celiac, allergies [peanut, shellfish, eggs, milk, etc.])
- Infectious disease (e.g. Viral resistance)
- Inflammatory and autoimmune disorders (e.g. Eczema, Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic sclerosis, Inflammatory bowel disease [IBD])
- Men’s health (e.g. Prostate cancer)
- Mental health (e.g. Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Schizophrenia, Opioid addiction, risk seeking behavior, smoking behavior)
- Metabolic health (e.g. Thyroid-stimulating hormone level, Type 2 diabetes, lipid levels, Alcohol flush, caffeine, gout, insulin insensitivity, caffeine metabolism, vitamin deficiencies)
- Neurological (e.g. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, Multiple sclerosis)
- Respiratory (e.g. Asthma, COPD)
- Sensory health (e.g. Exfoliation glaucoma, bitter taste perception, myopia, age-related macular degeneration)"
- Personal Insights
- Variant list – Provides overview of all genetic variants that make you unique and any associated public information.
- Ancestry – Learn about your family history and composition (Ancestral composition, maternal and paternal and Neanderthal)
- Lifestyle traits – learn about some of the genes thought to be associated with addictive behavior, taste perception, endurance potential, laser eye surgery risk etc.
- Traits and physical predictions - Predictions of personal traits including height, weight, eye color and skin color.
Many DNA and genetic tests examine only small segments of DNA associated with ancestry, traits (e.g., eye color, earwax type, bitter taste perception) and disease risk. With these tests, you get information on a small targeted set of DNA changes, or variants.
Health Nucleus performs whole genome sequencing – over 6 billion letters of DNA with high accuracy, and then integrates these data with other clinical information. With the Health Nucleus Whole Genome report, you will receive information on a broad set of variants, including the common, rare and individually unique variations, and their associations with known traits and disease risks. This report will provide you with an analysis across a broad spectrum of health areas and may help identify risks and provide opportunities to take action to protect and improve your health.
You can elect to waive the findings of inheritable diseases during the intake portion of your assessment. This includes Alzheimer’s as well as cancer risk.
Data that has been de-identified, meaning all identifying information such as name or date of birth are removed, may be used by HLI for research and may be shared with third parties for research purposes in an attempt to understand health and disease. HLI will NOT share your individual medical records with any third party without your express permission.
- Our Health Nucleus research protocol is designed to provide whole genome and clinical results to adults 18 years and older. If you have a child that you would like to undergo genetic testing, please discuss this with their pediatrician, or a genetic counselor.
- To assure the safety of our clients, there are a few individuals you may not be suitable for a Health Nucleus assessment. Our clinical team is available to review and discuss any questions to ensure client safety and candidacy for participation.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): employs a powerful magnetic field to create images. For that reason, clients with certain implanted devices, foreign bodies, pacemakers, cochlear or ocular implants are advised to avoid MRI scanning. If you have an implanted device, our clinical team would be happy to investigate if it is safe for MRI scanning.
- Coronary Calcium Scoring: Due to the low likelihood of coronary artery disease in clients younger than age 35, we do not recommend Calcium Scoring in this population. While the dose of radiation from the CT scan is small, we feel that there is insufficient clinical justification in our clients >35.
- Women who are pregnant are advised to delay Health Nucleus testing until after childbirth.
- Clients with an acute medical illness are not considered ideal candidates for this testing. The Health Nucleus platform is for screening and assessing one’s risk for different diseases, as well as early signals of disease risk. This is not a diagnostic disease testing platform.
The Health Nucleus experience is designed for risk factor identification and early detection of disease. Health Nucleus focuses on early detection of cancer, metabolic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s.
Health Nucleus can be an invaluable resource for staying a step ahead of diseases with a strong genetic component. With whole genome analysis, we can identify genetic variants that may increase or decrease your risk for different conditions and diseases. Combining these findings with the whole-body MRI scan can provide insights on your current health and uncover early signals of these diseases.
- As is the case with any genetic testing, if you are at risk for a disease, your family members may also have this same genetic risk. This could impact parents, siblings, children and other more distant family members.
Our aim is to empower you and your physician to integrate your findings into your ongoing health plan. With your consent, we can include your personal physician in the results sessions, or our clinicians can review your results directly with your doctor.
The participation of your primary care physician, or other health specialist is helpful but not required. Our team will walk you through your results and your whole genome report and help you to understand them. We can also review your results with your physician to help him or her understand our findings.
Health Nucleus services are not covered by health insurance plans.
We take our clients’ privacy and security very seriously. To protect the privacy of our clients, we implement strict security controls to safeguard your data, and to help ensure that your information will not be available to a third-party without your authorization. We have adopted Privacy and Compliance Program to assure our compliance with Federal regulations and state laws governing patient privacy and health information security.
We will only provide the results of your Health Nucleus assessment to you and your physician (if authorized by you), unless you request us to provide it to another healthcare provider. We will not provide the information to your employer, any insurance providers nor to any other healthcare provider without your explicit authorization.
If there are any significant findings that require immediate medical attention, you will be contacted by one of our clinicians. When we do uncover an actionable medical finding, we will share test results and review our findings with your physicians with your permission.