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Gene discovery could lead to cure for short-sightedness

Published on 13/09/2010
A cure for short-sightedness could soon be available as part of private medical cover following a new genetic discovery.

An international team led by scientists at Kings College London have identified a gene, called RASGRF1, which they believe to be responsible for causing myopia (short-sightedness).

Published in the journal Nature Genetics, the Kings researchers studied the genes of over 4,000 twins to indentify the susceptible gene.

They then verified the results with studies involving an additional 13,000 other participants from the UK, the Netherlands and Australia.

Dr Pirro Hysi, the lead author of the study, said the revelation could lead to new effective treatments to combat myopia.

"We have known for many years that the most important risk factor for being short-sighted is having parents who are short-sighted, and for the first time we are identifying genes that may be involved in passing on this susceptibility," he said.

"By identifying biological pathways causing myopia, we hope to be able to develop treatments in the future that will prevent or stop myopia progressing."

Short-sightedness is the most common eye problem in the UK, affecting over a third of adults.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Medical
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