Gene associated with long-sightedness discovered down under

February 11, 2010

Australia's Centre for Eye Research has discovered a hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) gene, which it hopes will provide important insights into biological mechanisms involved in ocular development.

Australia's Centre for Eye Research has discovered a hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) gene, which it hopes will provide important insights into biological mechanisms involved in ocular development.

The researchers believe that the HGF gene disrupts the emmetropisation process which leads to long-sightedness. The scientists examined DNA of 551 Australian adults. The study will be published in Ophthalmology and principal investigator, Professor Paul Baird said: “Currently the only treatments available for long-sightedness are glasses, contact lenses and laser techniques. We hope this important gene discovery will help us develop new drugs and I expect it will have a profound impact on improving global eye health.”