Scientists at Emory University in Atlanta, USA, and deCODE Genetics in Reykjavik, Iceland, have discovered genes that are linked to Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). "We now have concrete evidence that RLS is an authentic disorder with recognizable features and underlying biological basis," said David Rye, professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. The researchers examined 300,000 bits of DNA to find the difference between people with and without RLS. The team discovered a link between a common variant of the gene, BTBD9 and RLS, and periodic limb movements in sleep. “This is the most definitive link between genetics and RLS that has been reported to date," said Dr. Rye. "We have known for quite some time that the majority of RLS patients have a close family member with the disorder, and now we have found a gene which is clearly linked to RLS."
A study published in the July 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine found a gene variant that can double the risk of developing the degenerative eye disease AMD, or age-related macular degeneration. The scientists based their findings on studies of patients with AMD, who were compared with 701 unaffected people. The study found that a variant in the complement C3 gene influenced the risk of developing AMD. The findings would provide better understanding of blindness in older people and lead to potential treatment and possibly prevention.
Researchers at the University of Leicester and the University of Leeds, in collaboration with researchers at the Universities of Lubeck and Regensburg, have found six new genetic variants that increase the likelihood of developing coronary artery disease. The scientists analyzed 2,000 people with coronary artery disease and 3,000 healthy controls. “We can now examine the whole genome quickly to produce great results - something that couldn’t have been done at all a few years ago,” said Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation.
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