Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

The Genetics of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Published: Friday, March 15, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, March 15, 2013
Bookmark and Share
The study appeared online on March 3, 2013, in Nature Genetics.

An international group of researchers discovered 7 regions of the human genome associated with an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness.

The group also confirmed 12 regions identified in previous studies. The findings may eventually lead to new treatment and prevention approaches to AMD.

AMD gradually destroys sharp, central vision as a person ages. The disease affects the macula, a region of the retina responsible for central vision. We rely on the macula for tasks that require sharp vision, such as reading, driving and recognizing faces.

As AMD progresses, these tasks become more difficult. Some kinds of AMD are treatable if detected early, but no cure exists. An estimated 2 million Americans have AMD.

Scientists have found that age, diet and smoking influence the risk of developing AMD. Genetics also plays a strong role. AMD often runs in families and is more common among certain ethnicities, such as people of Asian or European descent.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have previously uncovered genetic factors linked to AMD risk. These studies involve scanning the entire human genome for genetic differences between people with AMD and matched controls. The larger the GWAS, the greater its ability to uncover relevant variations.

The new study was carried out by the AMD Gene Consortium, a network of international investigators supported by NIH’s National Eye Institute (NEI). It represents the most comprehensive analysis of genetic variations associated with AMD to date.

The researchers analyzed data from more than 17,100 people with the most advanced and severe forms of AMD, and more than 60,000 people without AMD.

The scientists identified 7 new genetic regions, or loci, associated with AMD. As with the 12 found in previous studies, these 7 are scattered throughout the genome on different chromosomes.

The 19 loci together implicate a variety of biological functions, including regulation of the immune system, maintenance of cellular structure, the growth and permeability of blood vessels, lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis.

“A large number of samples was needed to detect additional genetic variants that have small but significant influences on a person’s disease risk,” says NEI’s Dr. Hemin Chin, who assembled the consortium and helped coordinate the study.

Dr. Chin continued, “By cataloging genetic variations associated with AMD, scientists are better equipped to target corresponding biological pathways and study how they might interact and change with age or other factors, such as smoking.”

The 19 genomic regions identified by this work will help guide scientists searching for the underlying causes of AMD.

Eventually, these discoveries may help inform the development of new diagnostic and treatment strategies.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,600+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Predicting Effective Drug Combinations For TB
Researchers analyzed gene regulatory networks to explain the effectiveness of an experimental drug combination against drug-resistant tuberculosis bacteria.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Genomic Data Commons Launched
Part of the National Cancer Moonshot, the GDC will centralize and standardize accessible data.
Tuesday, June 07, 2016
Drug Might Help Treat Sepsis
A DNA enzyme called Top1 plays a key role in turning on genes that cause inflammation in mouse and human cells in response to pathogens. A drug blocking this enzyme rescued mice from lethal inflammatory responses, suggesting a potential treatment for sepsis.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
NIH Funds New Studies on Ethical, Legal and Social Impact of Genomic Information
Four new grants from the National Institutes of Health will support research on the ethical, legal and social questions raised by advances in genomics research and the increasing availability of genomic information.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Researchers Identify Genetic Links to Educational Attainment
Researchers at NIH have suggested that the large genetics analyses may be able to help discover biological pathways as well.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Submissions Open for the Cancer Moonshot Program
NCI opens online platform to submit ideas about research for Cancer Moonshot.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
NIH Sequences Genome of a Fungus
Researchers at the Institute have sequenced genome of human, mouse and rat Pneumocystis that cause life-threatening Pneumonia in immunosuppressed hosts.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Decoding Ties Between Vascular Disease, Alzheimer’s
NIH consortium uses big data, team science to uncover complex interplay of factors.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Researchers Find Link Between Death of Tumor-Support Cells and Cancer Metastasis
Researchers at NIH have found that the lifespan of supportive cells in a tumor may control the spread of cancer.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Tick Genome Reveals Secrets of a Successful Bloodsucker
NIH-funded study could lead to new tick control methods.
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Genomic Signature Shared by Five Types of Cancer
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a striking signature in tumor DNA that occurs in five different types of cancer.
Monday, February 08, 2016
Cancer Drug Target Visualized at Atomic Resolution
New study using cryo-electron microscopy shows how potential drugs could inhibit cancer.
Thursday, February 04, 2016
Genome-Wide Study Yields Markers of Lithium Response
An international consortium of scientists has identified a stretch of chromosome that is associated with responsiveness to the mood-stabilizing medication lithium among patients with bipolar disorder.
Monday, February 01, 2016
Schizophrenia’s Strongest Known Genetic Risk Deconstructed
Suspect gene may trigger runaway synaptic pruning during adolescence – NIH-funded study.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
NIH Genome Sequencing Program Targets the Genomic Bases of Common, Rare Disease
The National Institutes of Health will fund a set of genome sequencing and analysis centers whose research will focus on understanding the genomic bases of common and rare human diseases.
Friday, January 15, 2016
Scientific News
Benchtop Automation Trends
Gain a better understanding of current interest in and future deployment of benchtop automated systems.
Fix for 3-Billion-Year-Old Genetic Error
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a fix that allows RNA to accurately proofread for the first time.
Higher Frequency of Huntington's Disease Mutations Discovered
University of Aberdeen study shows that the gene change that causes Huntington's disease is much more common than previously thought.
Revealing the Genetic Causes of Bowel Cancer
A landmark study has given the most detailed picture yet of the genetics of bowel cancer — the UK's fourth most common cancer.
The Epigenetic Influences of Chronic Pain
Researchers at Drexel University College of Medicine are aiming to identify new molecular mechanisms involved in pain.
Fighting Resistant Blood Cancer Cells
Biologists present new findings on chronic myeloid leukemia and possible therapeutic approaches.
Tumor Cells Develop Predictable Characteristics
Scientists have discovered that cancer cells at the edge of a tumor that are close to the surrounding environment are predictably different from the cells within the interior of the tumor.
Mothers Obesity Could be Passed on in mtDNA
Obesity can predispose offspring in multiple generations to metabolic problems.
New Imaging Method Reveals Nanoscale Details about DNA
Enhancement to super-resolution microscopy shows orientation of individual molecules, providing a new window into DNA’s structure and dynamics.
Genetic Research Can Significantly Improve Drug Development
With drug development costs topping $1.2bn (£850 million) to get a single treatment to the point it can be sold and used in the clinic, could genetic analysis save hundreds of millions of dollars?
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,600+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!