New research published in the American Journal of Human Genetics points towards a genetic link between high-grade myopia and a mutation of the SCO2 gene. This particular gene helps metabolize copper and regulates oxygen levels in the tissue of the eye. High-grade myopia is a severe type of nearsightedness that is a highly heritable form of nearsightedness that greatly increases the risk for incapacitating eye problems. As many as 2 percent of Americans are affected by this form of nearsightedness. The results of the study led researchers to believe that since copper metabolism is necessary for eye health and the SCO2 gene helps to metabolize copper, a deficiency in copper could increase the likelihood of the person being nearsighted. Future studies should help determine whether and how much copper supplements will be able to help in treating nearsightedness.
Genetic link to severe form of nearsightedness
- by Dr. Paul Krawitz
- 23 May, 2013