Study Links Two Genes To Glaucoma

It is one of the largest studies ever conducted of glaucoma that links to blindness and vision loss revealing that two genes are associated with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), a common form of the disease.

The identification of genes responsible for this disease is the first step toward the development of gene-based disease detection and treatment, reports.

About 2.2 million people in the U.S. have glaucoma. POAG is often associated with increased eye pressure but about one-third of patients have normal pressure glaucoma (NPG). Currently, no curative treatments exist for NPG.

Researchers including lead author Janey Wiggs, M.D., Ph.D., and Lou Pasquale, M.D., Co-Directors of the Harvard Glaucoma Center of Excellence, analyzed DNA sequences of 6,633 participants, half of whom had POAG.

Participants were part of two NIH-funded studies: GLAUGEN (GlAUcoma Genes and Environment) and NEIGHBOR (NEI Glaucoma Human genetics collaBORation), conducted at 12 sites in the United States.

Previous studies have also implicated TGF-beta in glaucoma.

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