CUHK Ophthalmology and collaborators confirms a novel gene in AMD
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible visual loss among the elderly population worldwide and is accounting for approximately 8.7% of all blindness. In its early stages, AMD has a slow onset often taking many years to progress. Therefore, early detection of individuals who are at risk of progression is essential. AMD has a complex etiology, and the major risk factors include older age, cigarette smoking and genetic susceptibility.
A research team from the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong in collaboration with international research consortium, recently reported a genetic association in AMD in the March 2015 issue of a leading international journal Scientific Reports . After analyzing DNA from more than 700 Chinese individuals, combining analyses with other ethnics, a specific DNA sequence variant in a gene SERPING1 was found to be associated with AMD in Caucasians. SERPING1 is an important regulator of the immune system. The work enriches our understanding of AMD molecular mechanisms and leads us to the novel design of AMD management.