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Vol. LVII, No. 14
July 15, 2005

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NEI Hosts Symposium on Gene Found to Increase Risk of Blindness

On June 14, the National Eye Institute sponsored a symposium called, "Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Complement Factor H."

Dr. Jurg Ott (l), Rockefeller University; Dr. Robert Nussbaum, NHGRI (c); and NEI’s Dr. Emily Chew, symposium organizer, gather at the meeting. NEI director Dr. Paul Sieving moderated the symposium.

New research recently published in Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that scientists including NIH investigators and grantees have identified a gene that is "strongly associated" with a person's risk for developing AMD, the leading cause of blindness for older Americans. This discovery, made by four independent teams, may lead to early detection and new strategies for prevention and treatment for this debilitating eye disease.

A panel discussion featured all of the AMD and complement factor H investigators and other participants. The symposium drew great interest and was well attended..

The symposium featured lead authors of the four recent publications, presenting their data on the discovery of the association of AMD and complement factor H.

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