Australian scientists find short-sightedness gene
Australian scientists last Monday said they are one step closer to
solving the most common eye disorder in the world - myopia or
An international genetic research project studying more than 13, 000
twins has uncovered a key gene that causes the disorder. A professor of
ophthalmology at the Lions Eye Institute in Western Australia, David
Mackey, led part of an international project to identify the exact genes
responsible for myopia.
He said 13,000 people, all twins, took part in the study. “We analyze
usually around 600,000 Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) markers and find
which markers tend to run more commonly with the feature that we are
measuring - in this case myopia,” Mackey told ABC News.
“And in collaboration with the twin research group in London we have
been able to identify one new gene associated with myopia, mainly in
older people.” Researcher at the Queensland Institute of Medical
Research, Dr MacGregor, said decreased cornea thickness was a major
contributor to glaucoma as was “intraocular pressure,” or the amount of
pressure inside the eyeball.
“We identified genes that influence the pressure inside the eye. This
type of work can lead to genetic tests that can analyze the risk of
blindness, and help doctors to monitor people who may have a higher risk
of conditions such as glaucoma.” said Dr MacGregor.