Genetic Factors for Myopia Identified
Thursday, July 5 2018 | 05 h 41 min | Vision Science
A genetic study from the Mainz University Medical Center has identified 161 genetic factors for myopia.
Published in Nature Genetics by the Consortium for Refractive Error and Myopia (CREAM), this is the largest genetic study of myopia to date.
Working with the gene test provider 23andme, researchers evaluated the data from 250,000 individuals from Europe, Asia and North America.
Most of the 161 factors the study identified were previously unknown. One discovery was that all retinal cell types contribute to the development of myopia. The paper sheds light on the relationship between environmental and genetic factors: “Our results support the notion that refractive errors are caused by a light-dependent retina-to-sclera signaling cascade.”
The study gave researchers some insights into the underlying biological mechanisms that lead to myopia, and support the case that education-related behaviour is a major environmental cause. Myopia has spread into a worldwide epidemic as education levels all over the world are rising and people perform more close-up tasks in poor levels of daylight.
“Send your kids to play outside for two hours every day,” says Professor Norbert Pfeiffer, Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Mainz University Medical Center. “And it’s not just their eyes that will benefit.”
More information: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41588-018-0127-7