“Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. There are 2 types of glaucoma, open-angle and angle-closure, and suspects for each are different. Open-angle suspects have one or more eye findings that suggest a higher risk of having or developing glaucoma than the average person. First, their measured eye pressure (IOP) can be higher than the average range.
Glaucoma damage happens when the IOP is too high for the continued health of the optic nerve. Each person has their own level at which damage can occur. While anyone is in danger at very highIOP, half of those with open-angle glaucoma are hurt by IOP within the average range. Previously, this was called “normal-tension” glaucoma, but we now know it’s quite common and simply means that a person can get glaucoma without high IOP. Suspects with higher than average IOP, but no damage, are called ocular hypertensive. In some eyes, the real IOP is lower than what’s measured because the cornea (the clear front of the eye) is thicker than average”.- Glaucoma Research Foundation

Paris (AFP) – Scientists on Sunday said they had identified six genetic variants linked to glaucoma, a discovery that should help earlier diagnosis and better treatment for this often-debilitating eye disease.

A trio of studies published in the journal Nature Genetics by separate groups of researchers found telltale variants on genes that also play a role in regulating cholesterol in cells and in an age-related arterial disease, atherosclerosis.

A variant in one of the genes, called ABO, also seems to be more common in people with blood group B, the authors reported.

The flaws came to light in a minute trawl through the genome of tens of thousands of people in more than half a dozen countries, comparing the DNA of those with glaucoma against those who were otherwise healthy.

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

Early diagnosis is vital, as the damage can be averted if treated early enough. Spotting patients who are genetically more at risk would therefore be a plus….more: http://news.yahoo.com/gene-clues-glaucoma-risk-193224074.html

source: Yahoo News