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Molecular Genetics of Human Myopia: An Update

Young, Terri L.*

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e3181940655
Original Article

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is the most common human eye disorder in the world, and is a significant global public health concern. Along with cataract, macular degeneration, infectious disease, and vitamin A deficiency, myopia is one of the most important causes of visual impairment worldwide. Severe or high-grade myopia is a leading cause of blindness because of its associated ocular morbidities of retinal detachment, macular choroidal degeneration, premature cataract, and glaucoma. Ample evidence documents the heritability of the non-syndromic forms of this condition, especially for high-grade myopia, commonly referred to as myopic spherical refractive power of 5 to 6 diopters or higher. Multiple high-grade myopia genetic loci have been identified, and confirmatory studies identifying high-grade and moderate myopia loci have also occurred. In general, myopia susceptibility genes are unknown with few association studies performed, and without confirmation in other research laboratories or testing of separate patient cohorts.


Departments of Ophthalmology and Pediatrics, The Duke Eye Center and the Center for Human Genetics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

Received September 30, 2008; accepted November 4, 2008.

© 2009 American Academy of Optometry