A genome-wide study led by deCODE genetics Inc, in Reykjavik, Iceland, has identified a gene that is associated with exfoliation glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly (Thorleifsson G et al. Science. doi:10.1126/science.1146554 [published online August 9, 2007]). Exfoliation glaucoma is characterized by accumulation of abnormal microfibrillar deposits that line surfaces of the anterior segment of the eye.
The research involved the analysis of genomes of 2 cohorts of individuals in Iceland and Sweden. The investigators identified LOXL1, a gene that is involved in forming elastin polymer fibers, as a factor that increases risk for exfoliation glaucoma.
Hampton T. Glaucoma Gene. JAMA. 2007;298(13):1506. doi:10.1001/jama.298.13.1506-b