University of Michigan Center for Statistical 


Genetic susceptibility to age-related macular degeneration: a paradigm for dissecting complex disease traits.

Swaroop A, Branham KE, Chen W and Abecasis G

Hum Mol Genet (2007) 16 Special Review Issue No. 2:R174-82

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, which affects quality of life for millions of elderly individuals worldwide. AMD is associated with a diverse spectrum of clinical phenotypes, all of which include the death of photoreceptors in the central part of the human retina (called the macula). Tremendous progress has been made in identifying genetic susceptibility variants for AMD. Variants at chromosome 1q32 (in the region of CFH) and 10q26 (LOC387715/ARMS2) account for a large part of the genetic risk to AMD and have been validated in numerous studies. In addition, susceptibility variants at other loci, several as yet unidentified, make substantial cumulative contribution to genetic risk for AMD; among these, multiple studies support the role of variants in APOE and C2/BF genes. Genome-wide association and re-sequencing projects, together with gene-environment interaction studies, are expected to further define the causal relationships that connect genetic variants to AMD pathogenesis and should assist in better design of prevention and intervention.


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