Singapore Scientists May Solve World Blindness

A team of Singapore scientists have discovered two genes from the collagen family which demonstrate strong association with Central Corneal Thickness (CCT) , a risk factor of glaucoma, the most common cause of irreversible blindness worldwide.

The identification of genetic determinants affecting CCT in the population is crucial in helping to provide useful insights into the mechanisms underlying the association between CCT and glaucoma.

The study is said to be the largest and the first ever genome- wide association study (GWAS) on CCT in Singapore. More than 5,000 individuals were drawn from two ethnic populations in Singapore via the SERI-led community-based studies that systematically documented the frequency, causes and impact of low vision and major eye diseases in the different ethnic groups in Singapore.

“GWAS have been conducted primarily in European populations, and an interest in the Asian populations is only just beginning to emerge.

The Singapore population has, until now, been untouched by GWAS efforts. This is our first attempt at assembling a large sample from the Singaporean cohort,” said Khor Chiea Chuen, research fellow at the Genome Institute of Singapore.

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