Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States.
Now a study by a joint research team from Yale, MIT and Harvard has identified the cellular culprits of AMD, the Yale Daily News reports. The study brings the scientific community a step closer to finding treatment for the disease.
Published in Nature Communications in October, the study “reported that cells expressing high-risk genes for macular degeneration were not limited to cells directly responsible for vision, but also included supporting cells of the eye such as glia and vascular cells.”
Using RNA sequencing technology, the researchers created a single-cell atlas of the human retina that identifies individual retinal cell types associated with macular degeneration.
“It is the first time the human retinal cells have been sequenced at the single-cell level,” Brian Hafler, assistant professor of ophthalmology and pathology at the Yale School of Medicine, told the Yale Daily News.