Retinal Degenerative Diseases


Retinitis Pigmentosa is a group of retinal disorders caused by mutations in more than 50 genes.   Patients experience trouble seeing at night and tunnel vision due to the progressive loss of rod photoreceptor cells in the back of eye.  


Macular degeneration is a problem with a specific part of retina called the macula. It affects the central vision. Patients have trouble to cannot see fine details, but the peripheral (side) vision will still be normal.  The inherited form of disease is called juvenile macular degeneration or Stargardt disease.  For people age 50 or older, the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a lead cause of vision loss.  There are two types of AMD, dry and wet.  About 80-90% of AMD patients have the dry type.   Small white or yellowish deposits, called drusen, form on the retina, beneath the macula, causing loss of cone photoreceptors in the region over time. There is no way to treat dry AMD yet.  Wet AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessels overgrow under the macula and may cause scarring due to the leak of blood or other fluids from the vessels.  Anti-VEGF therapy to inhibit the overgrowth of blood vessels is currently the most common and effective treatment.

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