More than 50 genes that can predict age-related macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide have been identified.
Researchers reported that eyes with age related macular degeneration were found to have an over expression of 20 genes that cause loss of peripheral vision. The genes identify people with clinically recognized AMD and can distinguish between different advanced types, it was found that some of these genes appear to be associated with preclinical stages of AMD suggesting that they may be involved in the key processes that drive the disease
Researchers used a human donor-eye repository to identify differences in gene expression in people with AMD and those with normal eyes. They found that genes expressed below and in the actual retina thought to be involved in inflammatory and immune response and wound healing, were overexpressed in eyes with AMD.
The doctors said that understanding of AMD's genetic basis may help in the search for treatments, which currently are very limited.