Study Identifies Genes that Control Eye Growth During Childhood

Shaping the Eye for Perfect Vision

Study Identifies Genes that Control Eye Growth during Childhood

As the eye grows during childhood, it must grow in a way that preserves sharp, focused vision.

If the eye becomes too elongated for its optical power, it can’t focus on distant objects (aka nearsightedness or myopia); if it grows too little, the eye can’t focus on nearby objects (aka farsightedness or hyperopia). But the mechanisms that control eye growth have been surprisingly difficult to identify.

Ophthalmic researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, led by Andrei Tkatchenko, PhD, have written a study published in PLOS Biology regarding their recent discovery that there are two sets of signaling pathways in the retina that control eye growth during childhood to ensure that vision remains sharp.

Based on their findings, the researchers are now looking for drugs to prevent nearsightedness and have identified more than 100 compounds with potential. Click to read the press release, and the full CUIMC story here.

Caption: This image shows the effect of negative(green) and positive (red) lenses on eye growth and the heatmap depicting clusters differentially expressed in the retina in response to optical defocus.   Image Credit: Andrei Tkatchenko, PhD

Hear more from Dr. Tkatchenko LIVE about this and other issues related to Myopia, at PRECISION OPHTHALMOLOGY 2018. Click for full conference details.