While many FEVR patients are registered blind or visually impaired, members of the same family may carry the faulty gene without showing any symptoms.
The boffins hope that by screening these family members for TSPAN12 mutations, doctors may be able to catch FEVR early on and treat patients before they start to lose their sight.
Dr Carmel Toomes, of the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine who led the research, said: "This discovery will have an immediate impact on the treatment and counselling of some FEVR patients by allowing us to identify family members who carry the mutated gene before any retinal damage has occurred.
Merrill Lynch Global Research has found that over the past two decades an allocation of 25% FEVR and 75% S&P 500 would have generated the highest returns per unit of risk.
The Euro FEVR strategy has proved its defensive nature during the subprime crisis when equity volatility spiked," said Alex Ypsilanti, Head of European Equity Derivatives Research at Merrill Lynch.
The historical back tested levels dating to March 17, 1989 and intraday pricing of the ML US FEVR total return index are available on Bloomberg under MLFEVR1 <INDEX> <GO>.