Gene Variant Linked to Glaucoma Identified

September 27, 2009

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the National Eye Institute have discovered gene variants for glaucoma in a black population. The results of this study will be published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) the week of September 21.

The research was conducted in the Afro-Caribbean population of Barbados. Within this population, the incidence of glaucoma is nearly 10% and there appears to be a strong genetic predisposition. The scientists looked at 249 patients with glaucoma and 128 control subjects. The research was built on earlier studies which scanned the entire human genome. The researchers then zoned in on a particular segment of the human genome, and finally localized the gene on chromosome 2.

The researchers think that localizing the gene gets science one step closer to developing gene or stem cell therapies for glaucoma. Identifying the gene variants can also provide a more accurate and earlier diagnosis, allowing earlier intervention.

Read the release.




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