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Nearsightedness genes found in new study

The genes could lead to new breakthroughs in drugs that could benefit millions of sufferers.

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British researchers found 24 genes that could lead to myopia. They hope that the new discovery may be used to create new breakthroughs to treat suffers of nearsightedness. (Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images)

Researchers have found 24 genes that are linked to nearsightedness.

British scientists found the genes that could lead to new breakthroughs in drugs that could benefit millions whose vision appears blurred when looking at distant objects.

It is estimated that 30 percent of Westerners and as much as 80 percent of Asians suffer from myopia, reported HealthDay.

The study looked at 45,000 people in 32 separate studies.

Using the data they found 24 genes directly linked to myopia and another two that may be linked, said Medical News Today.

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"We already knew that myopia tends to run in families, but until now we knew little about the genetic causes," study author Chris Hammond, from King's College London, reported Medical News Today.

"This study reveals for the first time a group of new genes that are associated with myopia and that carriers of some of these genes have a 10-fold increased risk of developing the condition."

The genes discovered relate to brain-eye signaling, eye development and eye structure, said the Daily Mail.

People with the genes have about 10 times the risk of developing short-sightedness than those who do not have them.

The study was published in the journal Nature Genetics.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/130211/nearsightedness-genes-found-new-study