Seven New Loci Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Genetic variants associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are reported in a study published online on March 3, 2013 in Nature Genetics. AMD is a common cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults. Dr. Gonçalo Abecasis and colleagues report a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for AMD, including over 17,100 individuals with advanced disease and over 60,000 healthy controls. This included 18 international studies from the AMD Gene Consortium. The researchers identified seven genomic regions newly associated with AMD risk, and 19 associated regions overall. Their analyses across studies including populations of European and Asian ancestry provide insight into differential associations across ancestry. The authors suggest that pathways in complement activity, lipid metabolism, and extracellular matrix remodeling and angiogenesis are involved in the development of AMD. [Press release] [Nature Genetics abstract]
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