Nearsightedness Myopia Gene discovered could lead to New Treatments

Nearsightedness Myopia Gene discovered could lead to New Treatments

Best Syndication News

(Best Syndication News) - Having to wear glasses to see better might become obsolete because researchers have found a gene that is associated with nearsightedness. Developing gene therapies could treat the vision problem suggests scientists. In nearsightedness, a person can see near but will have blurry vision when looking at far distances. The researchers reported their findings about the genes related to myopia vision loss in the online September 12th Nature Genetics publication.

Researchers found that Caucasian from Dutch, British and Australian regions had a specific gene that were related to developing nearsightedness or myopia. Most cases of myopia is mild, but in some severe cases it can lead to blindness. Lead author Terri Young, M.D., professor of ophthalmology, pediatrics, and medicine, and a researcher in the Center for Human Genetics at Duke said that the eye is a good candidate for developing gene therapies because of the small contained area. The gene therapy would be easier to retain in the eye area and would also be easier to study results in an noninvasive way.

The researchers saw a pattern of the RASGRF1 gene with a strong relationship to vision and focusing problems in Caucasian DNA samplings. They tested and verified this in a total of seven different Caucasian adult groups totaling 13,414 DNA samples reflecting the RASGRF1 gene relating to vision changes. The researchers created Mice without the correct gene which they noticed changes in their eye lenses.

Young further investigate myopia in Chinese and Japanese population and found a different gene CTNDD2 which was related to myopia in these groups. Asian populations have a higher percentage of nearsightedness with around 80 percent having vision loss to some degree.

Currently there are treatments called LASIK or laser eye surgery, were the eye is reshaped to correct the vision loss and can restore vision. While this treatment cannot be used for all individual, if successful, laser eye surgery can make it so the person no longer has to wear eye glasses.

By: N Wilson



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