Study of Complement and HLA Related AMD
Andrew Lotery, MD University of Southampton
SummaryThis study will investigate the existence of new complement related genes that cause AMD and whether or not microbial infection could lead trigger AMD.
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the commonest cause of blindness in the western world. As current treatments are extremely limited, it is vital to improve understanding of this disease in order to develop better treatments. Happily, progress is being made. Recent work on complement factor H (CFH) and by us on Human Leucocyte Antigens (HLA) have highlighted the importance of inflammation in the development of AMD. Our proposed research will use modern molecular genetic techniques to test whether 1) there are other, related complement genes which also cause AMD, 2) there is a microbial trigger activating the complement cascade in AMD and 3) investigate how HLA associations lead to AMD. If these experiments are successful, our understanding of the biology of complement and 'HLA related age related macular degeneration' could be radically altered. This offers the best hope for tailoring current AMD management and developing novel treatments for this prevalent cause of blindness.