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      The Genetic and Environmental Factors for Keratoconus


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          Keratoconus (KC) is the most common cornea ectatic disorder. It is characterized by a cone-shaped thin cornea leading to myopia, irregular astigmatism, and vision impairment. It affects all ethnic groups and both genders. Both environmental and genetic factors may contribute to its pathogenesis. This review is to summarize the current research development in KC epidemiology and genetic etiology. Environmental factors include but are not limited to eye rubbing, atopy, sun exposure, and geography. Genetic discoveries have been reviewed with evidence from family-based linkage analysis and fine mapping in linkage region, genome-wide association studies, and candidate genes analyses. A number of genes have been discovered at a relatively rapid pace. The detailed molecular mechanism underlying KC pathogenesis will significantly advance our understanding of KC and promote the development of potential therapies.

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          Keratoconus: a review.

          Keratoconus is the most common primary ectasia. It usually occurs in the second decade of life and affects both genders and all ethnicities. The estimated prevalence in the general population is 54 per 100,000. Ocular signs and symptoms vary depending on disease severity. Early forms normally go unnoticed unless corneal topography is performed. Disease progression is manifested with a loss of visual acuity which cannot be compensated for with spectacles. Corneal thinning frequently precedes ectasia. In moderate and advance cases, a hemosiderin arc or circle line, known as Fleischer's ring, is frequently seen around the cone base. Vogt's striaes, which are fine vertical lines produced by Descemet's membrane compression, is another characteristic sign. Most patients eventually develop corneal scarring. Munson's sign, a V-shape deformation of the lower eyelid in downward position; Rizzuti's sign, a bright reflection from the nasal area of the limbus when light is directed to the limbus temporal area; and breakages in Descemet's membrane causing acute stromal oedema, known as hydrops, are observed in advanced stages. Classifications based on morphology, disease evolution, ocular signs and index-based systems of keratoconus have been proposed. Theories into the genetic, biomechanical and biochemical causes of keratoconus have been suggested. Management varies depending on disease severity. Incipient cases are managed with spectacles, mild to moderate cases with contact lenses and severe cases can be treated with keratoplasty. This article provides a review on the definition, epidemiology, clinical features, classification, histopathology, aetiology and pathogenesis, and management and treatment strategies for keratoconus. 2010 British Contact Lens Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Keratoconus and related noninflammatory corneal thinning disorders

            Keratoconus and other noninflammatory corneal thinning disorders (keratoglobus, pellucid marginal degeneration and posterior keratoconus) are characterized by progressive corneal thinning, protrusion and scarring; the result is distorted and decreased vision. The etiology and pathogenesis of these disorders are unknown but may be associated with a variety of factors, including contact lens wear, eye rubbing, Down's syndrome, atopic disease, connective tissue disease, tapetoretinal degeneration and inheritance. Recent advances in techniques for biochemical and pathological investigation are now allowing further exploration in these areas. Early diagnosis is aided by the finding of irregular corneal astigmatism with inferior corneal steepening. Treatment ranges from simple spectacle correction to keratoplasty. In this review, the past and present literature on corneal thinning disorders is reviewed and practical approaches to diagnosis and management are outlined.
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              Evolution in health and medicine Sackler colloquium: Consanguinity, human evolution, and complex diseases.

              There is little information on inbreeding during the critical early years of human existence. However, given the small founding group sizes and restricted mate choices it seems inevitable that intrafamilial reproduction occurred and the resultant levels of inbreeding would have been substantial. Currently, couples related as second cousins or closer (F >or= 0.0156) and their progeny account for an estimated 10.4% of the global population. The highest rates of consanguineous marriage occur in north and sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and west, central, and south Asia. In these regions even couples who regard themselves as unrelated may exhibit high levels of homozygosity, because marriage within clan, tribe, caste, or biraderi boundaries has been a long-established tradition. Mortality in first-cousin progeny is approximately 3.5% higher than in nonconsanguineous offspring, although demographic, social, and economic factors can significantly influence the outcome. Improving socioeconomic conditions and better access to health care will impact the effects of consanguinity, with a shift from infant and childhood mortality to extended morbidity. At the same time, a range of primarily social factors, including urbanization, improved female education, and smaller family sizes indicate that the global prevalence of consanguineous unions will decline. This shift in marriage patterns will initially result in decreased homozygosity, accompanied by a reduction in the expression of recessive single-gene disorders. Although the roles of common and rare gene variants in the etiology of complex disease remain contentious, it would be expected that declining consanguinity would also be reflected in reduced prevalence of complex diseases, especially in population isolates.

                Author and article information

                Biomed Res Int
                Biomed Res Int
                BioMed Research International
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                17 May 2015
                : 2015
                : 795738
                1Department of Optometry and Vision Science, Hadassah Academic College, 9101001 Jerusalem, Israel
                2School of Optometry, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong
                3Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, The Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Hao Deng

                Copyright © 2015 Ariela Gordon-Shaag et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 9 October 2014
                : 8 January 2015
                : 9 January 2015
                Review Article


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