Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genes involved in inflammation may hold clue to age-related macular degeneration

29.02.2008
A University of Southampton research team, led by Professor Andrew Lotery, has identified a new genetic risk factor for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of untreatable blindness in elderly people in developed countries.

The study is published today by the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

AMD is a progressive disease affecting the retinal pigment in the macular region at the back of the eye. Building on their previous research, which showed that genes that control inflammation were important for developing AMD, the researchers took DNA samples from 478 people with AMD and from 555 people with no signs of the disease. They then looked for evidence of variations in genes controlling the production and suppression of cytokines - powerful chemicals involved in inflammatory processes in the body.

Their work paid off when they identified that one of the genetic variants (251A/T), which is associated with a gene that boosts the production of interleukin 8 (known as IL-8), was significantly more common among the patients with AMD. This held true even after taking account of age, sex, weight, and smoking, which is a known risk factor for AMD.

'This is exciting research which helps us understand why people develop AMD,' says Professor Lotery. 'In the future we may be able to target patients with this genetic risk factor for specific anti-inflammatory treatments, maybe with something as simple as aspirin! This knowledge should allow us to get much better treatment results.'

Professor Lotery's research has been supported by the University of Southampton and the Gift of Sight appeal. He adds: 'I would like to thank everyone who has made a donation to this very worthwhile cause.'

If repeated in larger studies, Professor Lotery and his colleagues suggest that their findings might lead to the possibility of genetic screening for AMD and the development of biological agents to control it.

Sarah Watts | alfa
Further information:
http://www.soton.ac.uk/mediacentre/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period
27.07.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

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: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement

27.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

Seeing more with PET scans: New chemistry for medical imaging

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Did you know that infrared heat and UV light contribute to the success of your barbecue?

27.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>