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 Inselspital: Fewer CT scans needed after cerebral bleeding
20.03.2019 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Building blocks for new medications: the University of Graz is seeking a technology partner
19.03.2019 | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz

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: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>