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Subspecialties Basic & Translational Research, Retina

Animal Instincts

Stargardt-like macular dystrophy is an inherited disease caused by a mutation in the gene controlling the synthesis of certain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The disease (caused by a mutations of the elongation of very-long-chain fatty acids-4 –or ELOVL4 gene) mainly affects the cone-photoreceptor-rich macula of the eye and results in a loss of central vision – but a question remains: why are rod cells in the peripheral retina – which also require PUFAs for normal signaling – not affected? With the help of a few furry friends, a team from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center tried to find (part of) the answer.

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About the Author

Phoebe Harkin

I’ve always loved telling stories. So much so, I decided to make a job of it. I finished a Masters in Magazine Journalism and spent three years working as a creative copywriter before itchy feet sent me (back)packing. It took seven months and 13 countries, but I’m now happily settled on The Ophthalmologist, where I’m busy getting stuck into all things eyeballs.

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