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New Cataract Test for Children


Posted on Sep 17, 2013

Treating children is quite difficult at times because they are often unable to realize when they are having health problems. Parents often have to be extremely alert in whether their child is having an issue, especially in cases of difficult to detect issues such as vision problems. Sometimes even pediatricians miss vision problems that a child could be experiencing, especially if the child is born with it and has no way of communicating about the problem.

BBC reports there is a new test for finding the cause of cataract issues in children, which can help doctors treat the condition. BBC states the test, “analyzes every known mutation in the DNA which can cause the condition.” A few hundred children are born with cataracts each year according to doctors.

One expert described the importance of the test to BBC, “Diagnosing a congenital cataract is very easy at birth, but diagnosing the cause takes considerably longer. The problem is there are more than 100 different mutations in a child’s DNA, which have been linked to congenital cataracts. If you have a child with no family history then finding the cause can take months or years.”

The most significant part of the test is that doctors will be able to give much better treatment to children experiencing this problem when they know the cause of it. BBC reports, “A complete diagnosis can help doctors work out the best course of treatment, inform families on the risks of cataracts if they have more children or diagnose severe diseases which have cataracts as an early symptom.”

The test has been implemented and shows clear results. One doctor who helped develop the test told BBC, “Our test looks at all of these genes in parallel, so patients can be diagnosed much faster and receive the treatment, clinical management, and genetic counseling they need.”

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