What is Retinitis Pigmentosa – Treatment, Prevention, Facts and Statistics
Retinitis pigmentosa is rare in the United States. One in 4000 children is diagnosed with this progressive eye disease. Techniques like electroretinography (ERG) and visual field testing diagnose this disease by keeping a note of the progressive loss of functioning of the photoreceptor cells in the eyes. This article tries to understand the treatment and prevention methods of this ailment.
Treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa:
- Daily intake of 15000 IU or 4.5 mg of vitamin A palmitate can reduce the progression of this disease.
- Vitamin A supplementation intake in regular basis is found to delay the blindness up to 10 years as per recent research studies.
- Retinal transplants, gene therapy, artificial retinal implants, stem cells, gene therapy, drug therapies and nutritional supplements are some of the treatment options which will be available in the near future.
- Researchers at the Osaka Bioscience Institute discovered a protein Pikachurin which is believed to treat this disease.
- In another research study, scientists at the University College London Institutes of Ophthalmology and Child Health and Moorfields Eye Hospital could restore the regenerative ability of a mature retina in experimental mice using stem cell transplantation.
- The positive results suggest that this process can be successfully applied on humans too to cure blindness.
Prevention of Retinitis Pigmentosa:
Since the disease is of the genetic origin, there are no proven methods to prevent it. Presently the efforts are focused on inhibiting the progressive deterioration in the functioning of the photoreceptor cells.
Facts and Statistics on Retinitis Pigmentosa:
- It is one of the most common forms of retinal degeneration inherited from one generation to another.
- Friedreich’s ataxia, cataracts, Laurence-Moon syndrome, Usher syndrome, Mucopolysaccharidosis and Muscular dystrophy are some of the complications associated with this disease.
- Mutations in the gene rhodopsin is responsible for nearly 25 percent of autosomal dominant forms of this disease.