The recent discovery of 2 mutations in the lysyl oxidase-like 1 gene (LOXL1; OMIM 153456) that confer susceptibility to exfoliative glaucoma, primarily through exfoliation syndrome (XFS),1 will hopefully open the door for much more research on this understudied disease. The lysyl oxidase family of genes is necessary for the formation and maintenance of elastic tissue, playing an important role in the homeostasis of the extracellular matrix by inducing cross-linking in collagen and elastin molecules.2 This genetic discovery has already been replicated in an American population with the same results as those found in Iceland and Sweden.3 Studies are in progress in other countries, including Greece and Japan, and the results are eagerly awaited. Studies in different racial and ethnic groups with high reported prevalence rates of XFS, such as the Zulus of South Africa, Ethiopians, and Navahos, should be done and could prove to be of great value.
Ritch R. Exfoliation SyndromeBeyond Glaucoma. Arch Ophthalmol. 2008;126(6):859-861. doi:10.1001/archopht.126.6.859