Partly Cloudy
17°CSun :Mostly Sunny. High: 29 Low: 17

24 new genes behind short-sightedness identified

24 new genes behind short-sightedness identified

London: Scientists have discovered 24 new genes that cause refractive errors and myopia (short-sightedness).

Myopia is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment worldwide, and currently there is no cure.

These findings could lead to finding better treatments or ways of preventing the condition in the future.

During visual development in childhood and adolescence the eye grows in length, but in myopes it grows too long, and light entering the eye is then focused in front of the retina rather than on it. This results in a blurred image. This refractive error can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or surgery.

However, the eye remains longer, the retina is thinner, and this may lead to retinal detachment, glaucoma or macular degeneration, especially with higher degrees of myopia. Myopia is highly heritable, although up to now, little was known about the genetic background.

To find the genes responsible, researchers from Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States collaborated as the Consortium for Refraction and Myopia (CREAM).

They analysed genetic and refractive error data of over 45,000 people from 32 different studies, and found 24 new genes for this trait, and confirmed two previously reported genes. Interestingly, the genes did not show significant differences between the European and Asian groups, despite the higher prevelance among Asian people.

The new genes include those, which function in brain and eye tissue signalling, the structure of the eye, and eye development. The genes lead to a high risk of myopia and carriers of the high-risk genes had a tenfold increased risk.

It was already known that environmental factors, such as reading, lack of outdoor exposure, and a higher level of education could increase the risk of myopia. The condition is more common in people living in urban areas.

An unfavourable combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors appears to be particularly risky for development of myopia. How these environmental factors affect the newly identified genes and cause myopia remains intriguing, and will be further investigated by the consortium.

Professor Chris Hammond from the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at King`s College London, and lead author of the paper, said: “We already knew that myopia – or short-sightedness – 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.”

 

Top Stories

sensex-031

Sensex recaptures 28,000-level in evening exchange on Friday

May-22-2015
Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex bounced more than 215 focuses to recapture the 28,000-level after a crevice of almost one month amid
595x382xvirat-kohli-1432195941.jpg.pagespeed.ic.K9Ah9sIh2BIT3QJcHndy

Reports: IPL player maintenance strategy to be transformed from 2017

May-22-2015
As indicated by reports, the player maintenance approach in the Indian Premier League (IPL) could be changed by the Board of Control
Zeeshan-Ali-Khan

No employment for Muslim MBA? This ought to shock no one in Modi’s India

May-22-2015
There is stun, awfulness and shock in liberal circles more than a news report that a Mumbai-based organization turned down a Muslim
Arun J1x414-YUFI

Arun Jaitley on Modi govt’s one year: ‘There’s total clarity on development way’

May-22-2015
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) govt has introduced a situation of excitement on the financial front and it is taking choices keeping
alia-bhatt-and-varun-dhawan

Salman out, Varun-Alia in: Karan Johar’s Shuddhi at last affirms cast

May-22-2015
Karan Johar ✔ @karanjohar And finally..SHUDDHI starring VARUN DHAWAN and ALIA BHATT…directed by KARAN MALHOTRA..@Varun_dvn @aliaa08 @karanmalhotra21 @DharmaMovies   The dramatization around
494d6ec3-e59e-4950-8907-5e1649cc50c9mediumres

Kejriwal-Jung war: Center issues warning on appropriation of force in Delhi

May-22-2015
The Center issued a warning on Friday on the managerial structure of a Union Territory, clearing up the dispersion of force between