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Question:
One of my uncles has been diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (or RP, a genetic disorder that breaks down the retina and slowly causes vision loss). It started nearly two years ago and took some time to be detected. Now doctors say that there is only 25 percent of vision left. He is nearly 55 years old and has no other health issues. Is there any new medical treatment available for RP?

Answer:
Unfortunately, there are no proven treatments for RP. However, there are exciting technologies under development including gene therapy (using genes to help treat disease), stem cells (biological cells that can be adapted to treat disease and repair tissue) and neuroprotection (a treatment that slows disease progression by reducing brain cell loss). He should see an ophthalmologist experienced in the management of RP to discuss these potential future therapies.

Answered by: George Williams, MDDr. George Williams

Categories: Eye Diseases

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Answered: Mar 03, 2014

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