Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genetic medicine and AMD treatment; genetic screening and glaucoma

18.10.2010
AAO-MEACO Joint Meeting 2010 scientific program highlights

Genetic medicine is the focus of two presentations at today's Scientific Program of the 2010 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) – Middle East-Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) Joint Meeting. The AAO-MEACO meeting is in session October 16 through 19 at McCormick Place, Chicago. It is the largest, most comprehensive ophthalmic education conference in the world.

Seeking Genetics-Specific Treatments for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

In the past decade ophthalmologists gained a powerful tool to control vision-damaging "wet" age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD): anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medications. Anti-VEGF drugs halt or even reverse damage in many wet AMD patients, but some do not respond as well to treatment and so suffer severe vision loss. The new field of pharmacogenetics seeks to enable doctors to individualize treatment based on the patient's genetic profile for a disease. In a collaborative effort, the Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine studied whether specific genetic AMD risk factors and/or smoking influenced patients' responses to anti-VEGF treatment.

The researchers reviewed medical records of 36 people with wet AMD who participated in the Unifying Genetic Epidemiology of Macular Degeneration Study. In terms of anti-VEGF treatment, there were 12 responders whose vision improved, 18 maintainers, and 6 poor responders whose vision declined. All patients had been treated with bevacizumab (Avastin) and/or ranibizumab (Lucentis) for at least one year. None of the patients had vision loss due to cataract, geographic atrophy (advanced "dry" AMD), laser scar or retinal pigment epithelial tear. DNA analysis was done for two AMD-genetic risk factors: complement factor H (CFH) and age-related maculopathy susceptibility-2 (ARMS2) genes. Twenty-four patients had been smokers and three were current smokers. The average age was 80 years.

"Neither high risk genetic factors nor smoking history was significantly associated with patients' response to anti-VEGF therapy in our study," said Jaclyn L Kovach, MD. "However, more responders than poor responders carried at least one risk allele for ARMS2, CFH, or for both genes. Repeating this study in a larger population could bring us closer to a gene-guided therapy for wet AMD."

AMD is categorized as either "dry" or "wet." In the advanced "wet" form, abnormal new blood vessels develop under the retina that bleed or leak fluid and form scars. Advanced AMD destroys the detailed, central vision we need to recognize faces, read, drive, and enjoy daily life.

Genetic Screening Could Improve Glaucoma Care

Symptoms of glaucoma, a disease that destroys the optic nerve, can be so subtle that people often don't know they have the condition. About 4.3 million Americans have glaucoma, and doctors estimate that about half of them are unaware of it. Costs associated with treating the most common type of glaucoma now exceed $3 billion. Genetic screening could help catch glaucoma early on, so patients could be tracked and treated in time to save their sight. Janey L Wiggs, MD, PhD, of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, said genetic testing is currently able to indicate the presence of or risk for several types of glaucoma. Heredity plays a significant role in the disease.

"Blood or cheek cell samples would be collected from patients and appropriate family members, and then selected genes would be sequenced," said Dr. Wiggs. "We can identify markers for congenital glaucoma, early onset (before age 35) primary open angle glaucoma, and normal tension glaucoma, as well as several other conditions that increase glaucoma risk," she added.

Many more genetic markers may soon be available for use in screening for open angle glaucoma and other disease variants. Dr. Wiggs said the challenge will be to identify combinations of genes and/or environmental factors that will produce the most sensitive, specific screening tests.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

AAO is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons—Eye M.D.s—with more than 29,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" – opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases and injuries, and perform eye surgery. To find an Eye M.D. in your area, visit the Academy's Web site at www.aao.org

Contact: October 15 through 19
Media Relations 510.725.5677
mwade@aao.org
October 20 onward
415.561.8534
media@aao.org

Mary Wade | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aao.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>