According to scientists studying Gaza Strip families, there is a single defective gene that can cause blindness and tooth decay as a part of an inherited condition.
People with Jalili syndrome suffer from the loss of sight and poorly developed teeth, almost from birth. Because of the link, scientists were interested in a connection between the poor eyesight and dental health in people with the syndrome.
"Working with colleagues in the Leeds Dental Institute, genetic changes were found that disrupt the function of a protein called CNNM4 and that are passed on from one generation to the next in these families," said Chris Ingleheam, , professor of Molecular Ophthalmology at Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine.
Though a link was discovered, the possibility of using gene therapy to reverse the condition is not possible in the near future, stated the researchers.
However, further research into the gene may give scientists a better understanding of the common forms of poor dental health and bone diseases. This may lead to better dental care treatments in the future.
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