24 new genes for short-sightedness identified
Sunday, March 10 2013 | 00 h 00 min | News
An international team of scientists led by King’s College London has identified 24 new genes that cause refractive errors and short-sightedness.
The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature Genetics. Until now, the scientific community knew that short-sightedness was hereditary, but did not fully understand the genetic baggage involved. To learn more, the researchers analysed genetic and refractive error data of over 45,000 people from 32 different studies. They found 24 new genes for this trait, and confirmed 2 previously reported genes. People with these genes are 10 times more likely to develop short-sightedness.
“Currently myopia is corrected with glasses or contact lenses, but now that we understand more about the genetic triggers for the condition, we can begin to explore other ways to correct it or prevent progression,” says Professor Chris Hammond, of King’s College. “It is an extremely exciting step forward which could potentially lead to better treatments or prevention in the future for millions around the world.”