RxPG News Feed for RxPG News

Medical Research Health Special Topics World
 Asian Health
 Food & Nutrition
 Men's Health
 Mental Health
 Occupational Health
 Public Health
 Sleep Hygiene
 Women's Health
 Canada Healthcare
 China Healthcare
 India Healthcare
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 World Healthcare
   Latest Research
 Alternative Medicine
 Clinical Trials
 Infectious Diseases
 Sports Medicine
   Medical News
 Awards & Prizes
   Special Topics
 Odd Medical News

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2012 - 10:22:56 PM
ARMD Channel

subscribe to ARMD newsletter
Latest Research : Ophthalmology : Retina : ARMD

   EMAIL   |   PRINT
Gene variation could be responsible for age-related macular degeneration

Mar 27, 2005 - 2:22:00 AM
"We've identified a gene that is implicated in the pathogenesis of AMD. It provides a starting point for future investigations that will help us understand what takes place during the breakdown of the visual process."

[RxPG] Half of all cases of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness among the elderly, could be caused by a variation in a particular gene, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers involved in a multicenter study.

The National Eye Institute study – which will appear in an upcoming edition of the journal Science and is available online – links a mutation in the gene Complement Factor H to an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Macular degeneration is a complex disease that is the leading cause of blindness in Americans over the age of 50. By age 75, an estimated 30 percent of Americans have some manifestation of AMD.

The macula is an area in the center of the retina where light is focused and changed into nerve signals to compose an image in the brain. This central or "macular" vision enables us to read, drive and do things requiring fine, sharp, straight-ahead vision.

"We've identified a gene that is implicated in the pathogenesis of AMD," said Robert Ritter, a UT Southwestern research scientist involved in the Science study. "It provides a starting point for future investigations that will help us understand what takes place during the breakdown of the visual process."

Scientists have long suspected a genetic role in the disease but previously were only able to narrow the culprit gene's location to one region of a particular chromosome.

"We know that one of the most significant factors in determining who gets macular degeneration is family history," said Dr. Albert Edwards, the study's lead author and an assistant professor of ophthalmology at UT Southwestern when he conducted his research. "A positive family history can increase a person's chances of developing macular degeneration several fold compared to people in the general population."

In the study, researchers analyzed genetic data from more than 200 patients who were at high risk for developing AMD or who already had AMD in one or both eyes, and from more than 130 healthy participants without a known family history of the disease. The genetic mutation of Complement Factor H was present in half of those with AMD or at high risk for the disease.

Researchers from the UT Southwestern Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development provided genotyping, technical advice and assistance.

"This is an important study that gives us new insight into a disease that impacts a growing population of aging Americans," said Dr. Helen Hobbs, director of the center and chief of Clinical Genetics at UT Southwestern. "Genetic studies such as this provide the basis for clinicians to identify those at risk and may lead to better treatment options."

These findings may help researchers develop new preventive and therapeutic strategies for managing AMD.

"By finding genes, we can understand where the biological pathways are and the processes involved in the disease," said Dr. Edwards, who is now the president of the Institute for Retina Research at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. "Once we determine which genes are responsible for macular degeneration, we can screen the population and manipulate biological pathways to develop treatments."

Publication: Journal Science
On the web: www.swmed.edu 

Advertise in this space for $10 per month. Contact us today.

Related ARMD News
Deficiency of the Dicer enzyme in retinal cells linked to age-related macular degeneration
Quit smoking to save your eyes
Post Menopausal Hormones - reduces risk of macular degeneration
Higher fish consumption have a reduced risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration
HTRA1 gene linked to aggressive 'wet' age-related macular degeneration
Yellow plant pigments lutein and zeaxanthin reduce risk of age-related macular degeneration
Hormone Therapy Does Not Affect Age-Related Vision Loss
Eating Fish Protects Against Macular Degeneration
Research Highlights Risk Factors For Age-Related Vision Loss
FDA approves ranibizumab for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration

Subscribe to ARMD Newsletter

Enter your email address:

 Additional information about the news article
Also involved in the study were researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and Sequenom, Inc.

The study was funded by an unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness in addition to the NEI, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

Top of Page

Contact us

RxPG Online



    Full Text RSS

© All rights reserved by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited (India)