Genomic Architecture of Progression and Treatment Response in AMD
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Numerous studies have identified common and rare genetic variation associated with risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, risk is just one facet of AMD disease architecture. Both disease progression and response to treatment are two critical elements that may also be influenced by genetic variation.
The primary aim of this study was to identify genetic variation influencing progression and response to treatment for AMD, with a secondary aim of further elucidating the genetic etiology of AMD risk. We ascertained AMD cases and controls of European ancestry from Vanderbilt Eye Institute (VEI) and the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (BPEI) and obtained blood samples from all participants. Eyes were examined using standard ophthalmological methods, and graded according the modified Age-Related Eye Disease Study scale (AREDS grades 1-5) using fundus photography. Individuals were re-examined in follow-up exams at regular intervals to assess any change in AMD grade. Eyes with advanced neovascular AMD that were examined using ocular coherence tomography imaging (OCT), treated with anti-angiogenesis therapy and monitored for response to treatment.
All individuals ascertained for the study were exome-chipped for genome-wide single nucleotide variation coverage. To target rare genetic variation, whole exome sequencing was performed on individuals at the phenotypic extremes based on 1) AMD grade, 2) rate of progression from intermediate to advanced AMD and 3) response to anti-VEGF treatment for eyes with advanced neovascular AMD.
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