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Genes are a Major Factor in the Onset of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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Genes are a major factor in the onset of age-related macular degeneration.

According to recent research published in the Journal of Medical Genetics, "the inherited macular dystrophies comprise a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by central visual loss and atrophy of the macula and underlying retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). The different forms of macular degeneration encompass a wide range of clinical, psychophysical and histological findings. The complexity of the molecular basis of monogenic macular disease is now beginning to be elucidated with the identification of many of the disease-causing genes."

"Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the leading cause of blind registration in the developed world, may also have a significant genetic component to its etiology. Genes implicated in monogenic macular dystrophies are good candidate susceptibility genes for ARMD, although to date, with the possible exception of ABCA4, none of these genes have been shown to confer increased risk of ARMD," noted M. Michaelides and colleagues, University College London, Institute of Ophthalmology.

"The aim of this paper is to review current knowledge relating to the monogenic macular dystrophies, with discussion of currently mapped genes, chromosomal loci and genotype-phenotype relationships. Inherited systemic disorders with a macular dystrophy component will not be discussed."

Michaelides and colleagues published their study in Journal of Medical Genetics (The genetics of inherited macular dystrophies. J Med Genet, 2003;40(9):641-650).

For additional information, contact A.T. Moore, University College London, Institute of Ophthalmology, 11-43 Bath St., London EC1V 9EL, UK.

The publisher's contact information for the Journal of Medical Genetics is: B M J Publishing Group, British Med Association House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR, UK.

The information in this article comes under the major subject areas of Angiogenesis, Genetic Disorders and Ophthalmology. This article was prepared by Angiogenesis Weekly editors from staff and other reports.

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