Researchers identify genetic markers for keratoconus

January 10 2013

Researchers have identified genetic markers that are associated with central corneal thickness and keratoconus.
Fight for Sight-funded clinical researcher, Professor Colin Willoughby (pictured), along with colleagues from Queen’s University, performed a meta-analysis on more than 20,000 individuals from Europe and Asia. 
They identified 16 new loci associated with central corneal thickness. They also identified two loci that were associated with an increased keratoconus risk.
These genetic markers may enable researchers to develop treatments based on the therapeutic targets to prevent the diseases from developing or progressing.
The research was published in the journal Nature Genetics.
Commenting on the findings, Fight for Sight’s director of research, Dolores Conroy, said: “Despite the visual and social impact of keratoconus, the underlying biochemical processes and pathobiology remain poorly understood. Corneal transplantation, although effective, carries inherent risk so research into alternative treatments for keratoconus is welcomed.”
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