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A Whole Genome Association Scan for Myopia and Glaucoma Endophenotypes using Twin Studies

Myopia and glaucoma are highly prevalent ophthalmic disorders worldwide and contribute significantly to ocular morbidity. There is substantial evidence that genetic factors play a significant role in the development of non-syndromic myopia and glaucoma. We propose to perform mapping studies for well-characterized twin populations in the United Kingdom and Australia in order to ultimately identify implicated genes for these disorders and related ocular parameters. This will provide a fundamental molecular understanding of how these disorders develop, and may lead to directed physiologic (i.e. pharmacologic, gene therapy) interventions.

Our aim is to dissect the genetic basis of the eye disorders myopia and glaucoma. Instead of limited analyses of the trait/disease in a dichotomous manner, we are using continuous phenotypes of measures of refraction and intermediate phenotypes of glaucoma to analyze quantitative traits in unselected population samples of volunteer twins. Achievement of this goal requires cooperative efforts and large sample sizes. Thus, we have created an international collaboration of large complementary studies.