October 13, 2010 – An editorial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), highlighted the research of Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM. She is a macular degeneration specialist and Professor of Ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine, and Director of the Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Genetics Service at New England Eye Center and Tufts Medical Center.
She and her research team have discovered four new genetic variants associated with the age-related form of macular degeneration (AMD), which is about 40% of the confirmed genetic markers confirmed to be related to this disease to date. She has also shown that modifiable factors like smoking, diet, exercise, and other heart disease related factors like blood pressure and cholesterol, are also related to AMD.
Her research found that that these lifestyle factors can increase or decrease risk among genetically susceptible individuals. Her team also developed the first predictive models for assessing the likelihood of developing AMD based on all of these factors. She is continuing studies to find more genetic factors which can lead to new therapies and ways to prevent loss of vision.
AMD is the leading cause of visual impairment among the elderly and is increasing in frequency. Dr. Seddon is also studying the earlier onset forms of macular degenerations in families.
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New England Eye Center (NEEC) is located in the heart of Boston’s Theater district above the Wang Center and is affiliated with the Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine. NEEC offers a full range of comprehensive ophthalmology including treatments for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, pediatric ophthalmology and aesthetic surgery. NEEC is also a leading provider of Laser Vision Correction in New England offering a full range of vision correction procedures for all types of eye conditions.
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