Myopia genes found12th February 2013
A team of scientists headed by King's College London have discovered 24 new genes which cause myopia.
The research, published in the Nature Genetics journal, could be used to find new ways to treat or prevent the condition.
The team was made up of researchers from Europe, Asia, the US and Australia, who worked together as the Consortium for Refraction and Myopia (CREAM).
They looked at information drawn from 32 separate studies which analysed data from more than 45,000 people with genetic and refractive errors.
Around a third of people in the West and up to 80% of Asian people have myopia. The condition causes the eye to grow too long during childhood and teenage development, causing vision problems.
Professor Chris Hammond from the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London, and the paper's head author, said: "We already knew that myopia tends to run in families, but until now we knew little about the genetic causes. This study reveals for the first time a group of new genes that are associated with myopia and that carriers of some of these genes have a 10-fold increased risk of developing the condition."
'Currently myopia is corrected with glasses or contact lenses, but now we understand more about the genetic triggers for the condition we can begin to explore other ways to correct it or prevent progression. It is an extremely exciting step forward which could potentially lead to better treatments or prevention in the future for millions around the world."
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Title: Myopia genes found
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 23728
Date Added: 12th Feb 2013