By: Dr. Keith Gordon, Vice President, Research, CNIB
Exciting news from the world of research.
In a previous blog on the subject of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), I had mentioned that family history was a significant risk factor for the development of AMD. If your parents, brother or sister has AMD there is a greater likelihood that you in turn will develop the disease. There are, in fact, genetic tests that can measure your genetic risk of developing the disease.
Based on the strategy that the more genes we can identify for a particular disease the more likely we are to find a cure, a large group of international scientists this week reported the discovery of 7 new genes for AMD. At the same time they confirmed previous reports of 12 other AMD-related genes. Their study was published on March 3rd in the online edition of the journal Nature Genetics.
This surge in the number of genes now known for AMD is an exciting discovery as it will undoubtedly assist in the understanding of the physiologic mechanisms accounting for the development of AMD and thereby contribute to the development of new agents for the diagnosis and treatment of AMD. At the same time it will facilitate one’s understanding of one’s individual risk of developing AMD if it is prevalent in the family.