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Researchers investigate genetics of myopia

Cardiff University scientists are exploring which genes increase the risk of becoming severely short-sighted

Blue DNA
New research funded by Fight for Sight and the Welsh Government will investigate the genetics of myopia.

The Cardiff University study will draw from existing information about 500,000 UK citizens collected for the UK Biobank.

Study lead, Professor Jeremy Guggenheim, explained that the research aims to determine which children are at risk of developing high myopia as well as those who are at above-average risk of sight-threatening eye disease.

“This will help us to identify people who would benefit from more frequent monitoring to detect early changes, since early treatment is known to improve clinical outcomes,” he added.

The three-year project will work towards optimising a genetic test for severe short-sightedness within the next two years.

“In the longer term, this research will provide us with a greater understanding of the biological mechanisms that cause myopia, which will aid the development of new treatments or lifestyle changes for myopia that are more effective than those currently available,” Professor Guggenheim highlighted.