03.03.2010

Saliva test can detect common cause of blindness

Saliva test can detect common cause of blindness

By Adrain Galbreth

Contact lens wearers wanting to know if they could be at risk of developing the hereditary illness age related macular degeneration (AMD) can now use a home testing kit to find out.

AMD is a genetic disorder and is the most common form of blindness in over 50s. The macula part of the eye, which sends detailed images to the brain, breaks down and begins to destroy vision causing half of sufferers to be registered partially sighted or blind.

Developed by Optegra, a leading company in eye care, the AMD test can be done at home using a small sample of saliva, assessing a person"s risk of AMD by checking genetic markers linked with it.

The home kit costs £399 and takes three to five working days to be received. Once people have taken their saliva sample and sent it back to Optegra, it is tested at their hospital and a full report of the findings is given within 14 days.

by Alexa Kaczka


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