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PRS May Stratify Disease Progression Among Glaucoma Patients

A polygenic risk score may identify patients with early-stage glaucoma who are at risk of more rapid disease progression, a new study in JAMA Ophthalmology reports. Researchers from Flinders University in Australia examined genotyping and structural and functional glaucoma progression outcome data from more than 1,000 patients from the Progression Risk of Glaucoma: Relevant SNPs With Significant Association (PROGRESSA) study, a progressive, longitudinal study of individuals with early primary open-angle glaucoma. Patients with high polygenic risk — gauged at more than the top 5 percent of that of the general population — were at a higher risk of visual field progression after five years, as compared to the rest of the population. Meanwhile, those in the bottom 20 percent of PRS risk were at a lower risk of visual field progression over three years than the intermediate group. "Since treatment is initiated or escalated in response to glaucoma worsening and is highly effective at slowing progression, we would expect the true association of PRS with glaucoma progression to be even greater and would also anticipate a similar association between PRS and time to treatment initiation or escalation," the researchers add.