Navigation Links
Gene Variant May Raise Risk of Common Eye Disease
Date:4/12/2010

'Good' cholesterol levels linked to age-related macular degeneration, studies show

MONDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Two new studies provide more evidence of a genetic link between an eye disease that affects millions of older people and the regulation of so-called "good" cholesterol in the body.

The researchers don't fully understand the connection, nor are they near finding better treatments for the eye disease, known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Still, they say the results could lead to future advances.

Scientists had been exploring the cholesterol-eye disease link for some time, noted Anand Swaroop, an investigator with the National Eye Institute and lead author of one of the reports. "But somehow, their studies did not get much attention. Hopefully now the genetic evidence is so strong that people will explore those possibilities in much more detail," Swaroop said.

An estimated 10 million or more people in the United States develop AMD each year, including about 25 percent of people over the age of 65 and 30 percent to 35 percent of those over 75, Swaroop said. The disease affects an area of the retina known as the macula, causing people to lose the ability to see in the central area of their field of vision.

"You cannot see straight," Swaroop explained. In the most severe cases, "you cannot drive, and you cannot do day-to-day things in life."

For some patients, the disease can cause blindness.

The cause appears to be a blend of genes and environment. "Genes alone do not cause the disease, and environment alone cannot cause the disease," Swaroop said.

In the new studies, researchers examined the genetic makeup of hundreds of people with and without age-related macular degeneration. Those with the condition turned out to share a particular variant of a gene known as LIPC, which regulates the metabolism of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the blood.

But what is the link, exactly? It's not clear if high levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol might somehow boost a person's risk of developing the eye disease. That would create a complication if treatments designed to prevent the eye disease harmed cardiovascular health by lowering levels of "good" cholesterol. The reverse -- a treatment that boosted HDL cholesterol but also raised the risk of the eye disease -- would be a problem, too.

In any case, the researchers believe there isn't a direct cause-and-effect relationship, in which the genes in question cause both high levels of good cholesterol and raise the risk of the eye disease.

It's possible that the eye disease might have something to do with how the body transports nutrients in the blood, said Dr. Johanna Seddon, co-author of the other study and director of Tufts University Medical Center's Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Genetics Service.

Or, she said, a third factor might be involved.

In the big picture, said Swaroop, "we know today a lot more than we knew last month and last year." But that doesn't mean a better treatment -- or a cure -- for the eye disease is around the corner.

The studies are published in the April 12-16 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More information

For more about age-related macular degeneration, try the National Eye Institute.



SOURCES: Anand Swaroop, Ph.D., investigator and chief, Neurobiology Neurodegeneration & Repair Laboratory, National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Md.; Johanna Seddon, M.D., director, Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Genetics Service, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston; April 12-16, 2010, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Genetic Variants in Depressed People Raise Suicide Risk
2. Newly Identified Gene Variants Linked to Diabetes
3. Five Gene Variants May Be Linked to Lung Disease
4. Gene Variant Seems to Guard Against Asthma, COPD
5. Genetic variant associated with aggressive form of prostate cancer
6. Gene Variant Could Lower Alzheimers Risk
7. First Gene Variants Linked to Stuttering Discovered
8. Gene Variant May Help Some Overcome Adversity
9. Genetic Variant Raises Lung Cancer Risk
10. Genetic variant greatly increases lung cancer risk for light smokers
11. Authentidate Holding Corp. Completes Capital Raise
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Children ... to more adverse experiences than children in the general population. That’s because foster ... neglect or other family challenges. While no fault of their own, youth who ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... ... People are starting to accept that hearing aids can be helpful and ... it had when great-grandpa wore his hearing aids years ago,” said Dr. Maura Marks, ... American Speaker Series (NASS) segment. “He probably wore an iPod-size hearing aid on ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... Manager for the North East region. Côté has 20+ years of experience within ... to Phytomer, Côté worked with an array of high-end cosmetic brands, retail brands ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... Rob Lowe ... and now he has leant his presence to an educational purpose as the host ... one important one being cancer. In a recent episode, the series focuses on thyroid ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... The Incentive Research Foundation is ... Nudge Guide," a groundbreaking analysis of how behavioral economics can be applied to ... to IRR programs, the report highlights proven behavioral economics approaches and the powerful ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017  Cogentix Medical, ... focused on providing the Urology, Uro/Gyn and Gynecology ... that Ash Keswani has joined the Company as ... this newly created position, Mr. Keswani will report ... CEO. "Our organization is delighted that ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced ... Market Prospects: Addressing Production Complexities Through Risk Management and ... ... Pipeline and Market Prospects: Overcoming Production Complexities Through Risk ... of the current trends in the global biosimilars market, ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 2017  CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of ... store design to enhance the retail customer experience ... products and expanded beauty selections paired with informational ... new offerings. Together with its innovative digital programs, ... customer experience at CVS Pharmacy.  ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: