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Blood test to boost cataract treatment in kids developed

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Scientists have developed a blood test which they say may improve treatment for children born with congenital cataracts.

Researchers from Manchester University and the Central Manchester Health Care Trust, developed the test that analyses every known mutation in the DNA which can cause the condition.

The team believes it will speed up diagnosis and help decide the best treatment for the condition.

"Diagnosing a congenital cataract is very easy at birth, but diagnosing the cause takes considerably longer," Professor Graeme Black, from the University of Manchester, said.

The problem arises as there are more than 100 different mutations in a child's DNA which have been linked to congenital cataracts.

Currently, each mutation has to be tested for individually, BBC reported.

Researchers used advances in genetics to look for all the errors in the genetic code in a single test.

"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 counselling they need," said researcher Dr Rachel Gillespie.

The test will be available in Manchester hospitals from December.

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First Published: Mon, September 16 2013. 17:36 IST