Opthalmic examination of Dizygotic twins in Queensland
David Mackey, MD Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
Glaucoma is thought to have a major genetic component. Several genes have been identified, but so far these only accounts for 5% of glaucoma cases. Twin studies are an important tool for determining the relative contribution of genes or environment in any measure. If there is very little genetic component, then identical twins will vary as much as non identical twins. Dr. Mackey will analyze pressure, refraction, optic nerve, corneal thickness and many other measures in his study, and then compare all the numerical measurements of the twins with their DNA markers to discover where similar twins consistently have similar DNA markers. Discovering the genes that cause glaucoma will enable other family members to be tested and predict who is at high risk or low risk of developing glaucoma. This will allow better early screening for glaucoma and potentially lead to the development of new treatments.