Differences in the gene that helps produce vital proteins in the eye have been linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD),. This disease is a major cause of blindness. Blindnessfrom AMD is common in people over age 80, even in developed countries. A study showed that nearly two-thirds of this age group has some sign of the disease.
Researchers linked AMD to the SERPING1 gene. This gene is involved in production of proteins for the system that helps clear foreign material and infection from the eye. They identified a single variant in the SERPING1 gene where the numbers of different forms were significantly distorted in patients with AMD. The findings were replicated in a separate study done with American patients. Another study uncovered five more variants in the SERPING1 gene tied to AMD.
his could definitely give way to novel treatments for this common and devastating disease.