Myopia (near-sightedness) is a growing public health issue due to its rapidly rising prevalence. In particular high myopia carries a significant risk of blindness for which there are no treatment options. The disease etiology of this trait is complex and largely unknown. We recently identified a large number of disease loci and genes, which provide significant clues for pathogenic pathways. However, they explain only a limited proportion of myopia’s heritability, and the direct functional effects of risk variants, their interaction with environmental factors, and their potential for intervention are unknown.
Integrating the results obtained from these genetic, epidemiologic, functional and molecular studies will advance our understanding of the underlying biology of myopia and help create novel therapeutic targets to reduce the burden of high myopia.