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Researchers Identify Genetic Variants Linked To Glaucoma

Update Date: Sep 01, 2014 10:00 AM EDT

Researchers have identified six genetic variants linked to glaucoma, according to a new study. The findings could help earlier diagnosis and better treatment for the disease. 

In a three separate studies, researchers found telltale variants on genes that also play a role in regulating cholesterol in cells and in an age-related arterial disease, atherosclerosis. 

Authors also reported that a variant in one of the genes, called ABO, seemed to be more common in people with blood group B. 

Glaucoma is one of the leading cause of irreversible eye disease in the world. The disease is caused by damage to the optical nerve, usually by buildup of fluid pressure in the eyeball. 

Early diagnosis is important in the disease, as the damage can be averted if treated early enough. 

Researchers added that further work on exactly how faulty genes cause glaucoma could lead to better treatments. 

"Although eyedrops are already available to treat glaucoma, these are not always effective," said Chris Hammond, a professor at King's College London, in the press release. 

Findings of all the three studies are published in the journal Nature Genetics. (First study, second study, and third study.) 

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