Retinitis Pigmentosa is a genetic disorder that causes progressive vision loss. The light sensing cells of the retina gradually deteriorate. Patients at first lose night vision as a result of the death of rod photoreceptors which starts in childhood. Even low light causes difficulties. Blind spots develop in peripheral vision and later the disease affects central vision caused by degeneration of rod cones. Patients are limited in their reading, driving, using a computer and visual recognition of people.
The gene mutations that occur most frequently with retinitis pigmentosa are RHO,the most common autosomal dominant; RP2, RPGR for most cases of X-linked form and USH2A, the most common of autosomal recessive form.
The condition usually is limited to vision loss but can be associated in Usher syndrome that has vision and hearing loss. It may also be associated with other syndromes; some of which cause neuropathy and ataxia.
Treatment for retinitis pigmentosa has been evolving over many years of laboratory research. Among those that seem to offer potential hope include the use of retina pigmented epithelial cells, progenitor and immortalized retina stem cells, optic neuron stem cells, growth factors such as ciliary growth factor, glial derived neurotrophic factor, brain derived neurotrophic factor that are introduced into the subretinal space (considered immunologically privileged). In addition patients would have gene testing. The abnormal gene mutation would be knocked out by shRNA. This would be followed by the normal gene insertion using a vector or by electroporation method.
ontact us today to book an appointment and discuss the best way to treat your condition or that of any member of your family – with stem cell treatment options. Call us 561-557-3358