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Understanding the molecular mechanics of myopia

Scientists confirm that myopia and hyperopia develop through different molecular pathways

18 Oct 2018 by Selina Powell

New research has found differences in the molecular pathways followed by myopia and hyperopia.

The study, which was published in PLOS Biology, involved inducing either myopia or hyperopia in a group of marmosets by placing lenses in front of their eyes.

Lenses that shifted the focal point to behind the retina induced myopia while lenses that shifted it in front of the retina resulted in hyperopia.

In both cases, the activity of the genes in the exposed retina changed. However, the scientists found that the molecular pathways affected were different in myopia and hyperopia.

Study author, Andrei Tkatchenko, of Columbia University, highlighted that the retina responds to different types of defocus with distinct pathways.

"Identification of these pathways provides a framework for the identification of new drug targets and for the development of more effective treatment options for myopia," he emphasised. 

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