Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Twin Study Explores Factors That Influence the Course of Macular Degeneration

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Twin Study Explores Factors That Influence the Course of Macular Degeneration

Article excerpt

Tufts Medical Center scientists recently published their investigation of identical twins from the U.S. World War II Twin Registry. "Smoking, Dietary Betaine, Methionine, and Vitamin D in Monozygotic Twins with Discordant Macular Degeneration: Epigenetic Implications," which appeared in the July 2011 issue of Ophthalmology, is the first study to examine identical twin pairs in which one twin had early age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and the other had late-stage AMD. By examining identical twins with the same genes, but whose disease was at different stages, researchers hoped to identify environmental and behavioral factors that contribute to severity of the disease. "We wanted to know why, if they have the same genes, do they have different stages of the disease," explained lead researcher Johanna Seddon, director of the Epidemiology and Genetics Service and professor of ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine. The study evaluated pairs of elderly male twins and used a survey of personal dietary and health habits to determine variations. …

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