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International Foundation for Optic Nerve Disease

 
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Cigarette smoke is strongly associated with affected LHON cases

This IFOND funded study [full text free], part of the ongoing LHON - Brazil Project, for the first time clarifies the association and mechanism of toxic tobacco smoke on loss of sight in those affected by Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON): L. Giordano, et al. Cigarette toxicity triggers Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy by affecting mtDNA copy number, oxidative phosphorylation and ROS detoxification pathways. Cell Death Dis. 2015 Dec; 6(12): e2021.
Some of their research colleagues have noted that, rather strikingly, the clinical penetrance of the LHON mtDNA mutations was 93% in the males who smoked compared to 50% in the literature. Further research may find further, likely genetic, factors predicting those LHON carriers at higher risk of becoming affected.

This is but one of many IFOND studies, arising from its sponsorship of the LHON Brazil Project, devoted to understanding and therapy of LHON.

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