Tags: blindness | genes | macular | degeneration

50 Genes Linked to Blindness

Friday, 24 February 2012 01:04 PM

Scientists have identified a cluster of specific genes linked to one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. – a connection that could help doctors predict who’s at risk.

The condition – known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – strikes about 6.5 percent of Americans over the age of 40 and has no known treatment or cure.

But new research, published in the journal Genome Medicine, has identified more than 50 genes linked to AMD – 20 of which might be used to predict who will develop the disease.

The study – led by researchers at the University of California-Santa Barbara, the University of Utah and the University of Iowa -- used a human donor eye repository to identify the genes linked to AMD.

"Not only are these genes able to identify people with clinically recognized AMD and distinguish between different advanced types – some of these genes appear to be associated with pre-clinical stages of AMD,” said Dr. Monte Radeke, one of the project leaders.

Radeke said scientists can now try to identity the roles the genes play in AMD and work to develop new ways to diagnose and treat it.

© HealthDay

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Scientists discover dozens of genes linked to macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.
Friday, 24 February 2012 01:04 PM
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