Gene that can cause nearsightedness identified

New York, Sep 1 (IANS) Researchers have discovered a gene that causes myopia in people who spend at least an hour each day in childhood reading or doing other “near work.”

Using a database of approximately 14,000 people, the researchers found that those with a certain variant of the gene – called APLP2 – were five times more likely to develop myopia in their teenage years if they had read an hour or more each day in their childhood.

Those who carried the APLP2 risk variant but spent less time reading had no additional risk of developing myopia.

“This is the first known evidence of gene-environment interaction in myopia,” said the study lead investigator Andrei Tkatchenko from Columbia University Medical Centre in the US.

The researchers believe that the gene variant may increase the amount of APLP2 protein produced in the eye, which in turn may cause the eye to undergo excessive elongation.

They found that mice exposed to a visual environment that mimics reading were less likely to develop myopia when little APLP2 protein was present in the eye.

“By reducing the level of APLP2 in the eye, you can reduce susceptibility to environmentally induced myopia. This gives us an opportunity to develop a therapy to prevent myopia in everyone, regardless of the APLP2 variant they carry,” Tkatchenko pointed out.

Developing such a therapy, however, could take years, as researchers don’t yet know how APLP2 levels could be reduced in people.

The research was published in the journal PLOS Genetics.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here