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New genetic test for congenital cataract

News posted: 17/09/2013

Congenital cataract accounts for about 10 per cent of childhood blindness. About 200 children are born with cataracts in the UK each year and of these approximately 50 per cent have a genetic cause. Faults in more than 25 genes have been associated with the condition.

A blood test to identify all of these genes in parallel to improve treatment for children born with congenital cataracts has been developed in the UK. Professor Graeme Black from the University of Manchester and team have designed a test which analyses every known mutation in the DNA which can cause the condition. Currently each mutation has to be tested for individually.

Dr Dolores Conroy, director of research for Fight for Sight said: “We are delighted to see such progress being made by Professor Black who has developed a similar test for inherited retinal conditions funded by Fight for Sight. We hope that this test will speed up diagnosis and help ophthalmologists to decide on the best treatment at an earlier stage.”

For further details about Fight for Sight visit  www.fightforsight.org.uk or call 0207 264 3900.