Researchers at Duke University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University Medical Center have pinpointed the first major gene that determines an individuals risk for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The chronic, progressive disease -- which affects as many as 15 million people in the United States -- is the leading cause of visual impairment and legal blindness in the elderly.
A common variant of the gene, called complement factor H (CFH), explains approximately 43 percent of the risk of AMD among older adults, the researchers estimated. The team identified the disease-related gene after screening 182 families affected by AMD and 495 other individuals with the condition. The researchers will report their findings in a forthcoming issue of Science (published online March 10, 2005, in Science Express).
The genetic advance sheds light on the mechanisms underlying the disease and could lead to new avenues for treatment, the researchers said. The finding might also yield methods for identifying those patients at the greatest risk for developing the condition before symptoms arise, when therapies and changes in lifestyle might be most effective in slowing the disease progression. "Macular degeneration is an important cause of blindness and loss of independence in the elderly," said Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., director of the Duke Center for Human Genetics and senior author of the report. "This gene opens the door to a whole new understanding of the factors that contribute to this disease. "The finding may ultimately lead to new methods for identifying those at high risk for macular degeneration and suggests new pathways for drug development," she added.
Kendall Morgan | EurekAlert!
Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes
15.01.2018 | Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
New method to map miniature brain circuits
15.01.2018 | The Francis Crick Institute
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered a mechanism that amplifies the autoimmune reaction in an early stage of pancreatic islet autoimmunity prior to the progression to clinical type 1 diabetes. If the researchers blocked the corresponding molecules, the immune system was significantly less active. The study was conducted under the auspices of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and was published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common metabolic disease in childhood and adolescence. In this disease, the body's own immune system attacks and destroys the...
15.01.2018 | Event News
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
15.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.01.2018 | Life Sciences
15.01.2018 | Life Sciences