Research NewsGenetics Research

Glaucoma Gene Provides Light at the End of the Tunnel

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Science  31 Jan 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5300, pp. 621
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5300.621

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Because the eye disease glaucoma develops so insidiously, it blinds almost 12,000 people every year in the United States alone. Now, researchers report in this issue (p. 668) that they have identified the gene at fault in juvenile glaucoma—the first time a specific gene has been linked to the condition. The discovery may aid in the diagnosis of glaucoma and provide clues to how it causes a buildup of pressure in the eye, which is thought to lead to blindness by irreversibly damaging the optic nerve.