Their research, which is published online today in The Lancet, adds to the growing understanding of the genetics of age-related macular degeneration and they believe it will better help predict those at risk and ultimately lead to better treatments.
The team, including Professor Andrew Lotery and his research group in the University's Clinical Neurosciences Division, together with Dr Sarah Ennis and Professor Andy Collins from the Genetic Epidemiology and Bioinformatics Group in the University's Human Genetics Division, found an association with the SERPING1 gene, which is involved in production of proteins for the 'complement' system within the eye, which helps clear foreign material and infection.
Together with colleagues from the University of Iowa, they found evidence of proteins expressed by SERPING1 in the retina and the choroid layer (the vascular layer next to the retina), the two areas affected by AMD. The findings suggest that the complement system is malfunctioning, attacking the retina and choroid layer.
Andrew Lotery, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University, comments: "Our study also shows that a particular variant of the gene SERPING1, carried by just under a quarter of the population, appears to offer protection against the disease.
"I am delighted that researchers at the University of Southampton have made such an important contribution to understanding this devastating disease. Now we must take this research further to ensure patients get maximum benefit from this discovery."
Almost two-thirds of people aged 80 years or older are affected by AMD to some degree, with more than one in ten left blind by the disease. In the UK, the annual economic burden from the disease has been estimated to be as high as £80 million, a figure set to increase as our ageing population expands. The total yearly costs of health-care usage are seven-times higher for patients with AMD than for those unaffected.
This research was supported by the Macula Vision Research Foundation, the Macular Disease Society, the Wellcome Trust, Brian Mercer Trust, the American Health Assistance Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Professor Lotery's work in researching eye disease is supported by a specific charity called The Gift of Sight Appeal www.giftofsight.org.uk, which is administered by the Development Office at the University of Southampton.
Sarah Watts | alfa
Researchers find new mutation in the leptin gene
24.06.2019 | Texas Biomedical Research Institute
Straight to the heart
24.06.2019 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft
From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.
Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap
The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.
Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...
The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified
The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...
Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.
Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...
Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...
24.06.2019 | Event News
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
24.06.2019 | Event News
24.06.2019 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
24.06.2019 | Life Sciences