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Macular Degeneration of Eye Can Be of Genetic Origin Too

Ordinary sunlight is made up of seven different colors. They are Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. These components are arranged in the order of their intensity. The most powerful component, violet color comes first. It has the maximum potential to cause harmful effects to humans. Our eye is protected from the violet color of sun light by a portion of the eye called Macula.

What is Macular Degeneration of the Eye?

The Macula is a region situated at the center of our eye called Retina. From the food we eat, it gets its characteristic yellow color. This yellow color of the Macula protects our eyes from harmful ultraviolet and blue components of sun light. It is generally known to the doctors that diseases like diabetes harm this region of the eye in long run. It is technically called Macular degeneration. But latest research (dated November 2009) in the University of Iowa reports that there can be other reasons too for the Macula to get damaged.

How the Vision is Lost from this New Inherited Retinal Disease?

According to a team of researchers from this University, the Macula damage can be a new and rare inherited disease. It is categorized as a retinal disease. Blood vessels are small tube like structures which carry blood to different sections of the eye. In this disease, the Macula region of the patient’s eye develops abnormal blood vessels. These vessels carry blood only to leak them midway. This causes swelling and loss of vision in these patients.

What Led to the Discovery?

Doctors identified Macular degeneration in one person of a family in United States with complaints of eye problem. But the signs of this disease were different from the very beginning and hinted that the origin of the disease is different. Doctors suspected that the disease can have genetic origin. 20 members related to the family were examined to confirm their guess. All of them were found to be eye patients with different degrees of complexities.

The findings of the research are published in the November issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology. They are also presented in the annual international meetings of retinal specialists in Arizona, Florida and London. The researchers have now focused their attention on finding the gene responsible for this new and rare form of retinal disease.

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