Promising new genetic test for glaucoma

Research into a promising new genetic test for glaucoma – the leading cause of blindness worldwide – reveals it has the ability to identify 15 times more people at high risk of glaucoma than an existing genetic test.

Published in JAMA Ophthalmology, the research builds on a long-running international collaboration between Flinders University and the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and other research partners around the world to identify the genetic risk factors for glaucoma.

“Early diagnosis of glaucoma can lead to vision-saving treatment, and genetic information can potentially give us an edge in making early diagnoses, and better treatment decisions,” says lead researcher Associate Professor Owen Siggs, from Flinders University in South Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, NSW.

Senior author, Flinders University Professor Jamie Craig, says the latest research highlights the potential of the test in glaucoma screening and management.

“Genetic testing is not currently a routine part of glaucoma diagnosis and care, but this test has the potential to change that.

“We’re now in a strong position to start testing this in clinical trials,” says Professor Craig, a consulting ophthalmologist who also runs a world-leading glaucoma research program at Flinders University, funded by Australia’s NHMRC.

To read the research, visit: jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/article-abstract/2781905

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