Eye Health News

Loss of anti-aging gene may play role in development of AMD

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A study published in The Journal of Neuroscience details the findings of Georgetown University Medical Center researchers, which revealed that the loss of an anti-aging gene results in retinal degeneration in mice and might be a contributing factor in the development of age-related macular degeneration. Klotho is the aging-supressor gene and it plays a critical role in maintaining the health of the retina in both mice and humans. The study involved mice and what researchers discovered was that the loss of Klotho expression lead to the symptoms of both wet and dry forms of macular degeneration as seen in humans. Klotho plays three important roles in the health of the retina. First, it increases the activity of genes that produce the light absorbing visual pigments in the retinal cells. In addition, the genes that protect against oxidative stress in the retina are also regulated by Klotho. Finally, Klotho helps to prevent the overgrowth of blood vessels in the eye. Additional research is needed to confirm the direct link between the loss of Klotho and the development of AMD.*

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