Navigation Links
Genetic medicine and AMD treatment; genetic screening and glaucoma

CHICAGO 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.


Contact: Mary Wade
American Academy of Ophthalmology

Related medicine news :

1. Certain genetic profiles associated with recurrence-free survival for non-small cell lung cancer
2. Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Kids May Have Genetic Cause
3. Epigenetic signals differ across alleles
4. Study reveals genetic link between mammographic density and breast cancer
5. Genetic Risk Score Doesnt Spot Heart Trouble in Women
6. Penn researchers find genetic link to leukemias with an unknown origin
7. Scientists Spot Genetic Fingerprints of Individual Cancers
8. Genetic health risks in children of assisted reproductive technology
9. Genetic Mutation Linked to Prostate Cancer in Blacks
10. Protecting the brain from of a deadly genetic disease
11. Protecting the brain from a deadly genetic disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library ... City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ... for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and ... that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then ... will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) in concert ... capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events and professional ... than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Dialysis Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report ... is the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, ... and excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the ... sodium, potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: ... its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated ... shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first IVD ... solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: