26.02.2015

Gene "could lead to myopia treatments"

Gene "could lead to myopia treatments"

A new study has uncovered a gene associated with myopia, or nearsightedness, in Caucasian people from several different regions, including the Netherlands, Britain and Australia.

According to experts at Duke University Medical Center, gene therapies are already working well in some eye conditions, and myopia may be a good candidate condition for gene repair.

Lead author Dr Terri Young, professor of ophthalmology, pediatrics and medicine at the facility, found several distinct spellings of DNA code near the RASGRF1 gene that had a strong association with focusing errors in vision.

After creating mice that were missing the correct gene, scientists found that they showed changes in their eye lenses.

"This was biologically convincing. The RASGRF1 provides a novel molecular mechanism to study so that we can work to prevent the most common cause of visual impairment," Dr Young said.

Recently, researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine claimed that a protein known as galectin-3 promotes the growth of new blood vessels, and that targeting the protein can "significantly" reduce angiogenesis. 

by Emily Tait


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