Gene thought to cause long-sightedness

Gene thought to cause long-sightedness

Scientists in Australia have found that a certain gene is partly responsible for long-sightedness, reports the Australian Associated Press.

The researchers, from the University of Melbourne, studied 551 adults looking for variations in their genetic makeup.

Changes were found in the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) gene which, according to Paul Baird, associate professor at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA), plays a disruptive role in the development of the eye.

Dr Baird told the news provider: "We really don"t know what causes long-sightedness so this is one of the first genes to be implicated with this particular form of changes in the eye."

It is possible that the breakthrough could lead to the development of a drug that could be used to treat the condition which affects around ten per cent of Australians and is on the increase.

Fellow Melbourne-based scientists from Monash University recently discovered that a new eye test could be used to detect manic depression, according to the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

by Emily Tait

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