retinitis pigmentosa

A genetic disorder of the retina that causes gradual vision loss.  With retinitis pigmentosa (sometimes called RP) the photoreceptors (rods and cones of the retina) or their supporting cells gradually stop working, affecting vision. Some people develop visual loss in infancy while others have problems later in life. Often the rods (the photoreceptors responsible for peripheral and night vision) are involved such that the vision constricts inward making it hard to see in the periphery.  Night vision is often severely diminished.  There are over 80 different types of retinitis pigmentosa that have been discovered.  Some are inherited from family, some occur by recessive mutations that only occur when two parents with the same gene defect have a child.  Some kinds of RP are sporadic with no family history at all. There have not been found to be any effective treatments for retinitis pigmentosa, though some retina doctors have tried high levels of vitamin A in the past. There is vigorous ongoing research looking for a cure for this disorder.

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Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hello Dr. Root, how about injections with proteins that the French have been successfully using for quite a while to restore vision in RP patients. Thank you for responding.

  2. Here you are Sir:
    * http://www.irrp.asso.fr/?page_id=220
    * http://sante.lefigaro.fr/actualite/2010/06/30/10301-retinite-pigmentaire-lueur-despoir
    * http://www.industrie.com/pharma/ophtalmologie-retinopathie-pigmentaire-l-espoir-d-un-traitement-dans-une-proteine,15267
    All articles are in French
    If you paste in Google “injections de protéines pour la rétinite pigmentaire” you will find many more RP research articles primarily about “protéines RdCVF” very efficient for the rods.
    Feel free to email me @ ccori8@gmail.com for more info.
    Regards,
    Cornelia

  3. Ah … from what I can tell from the translation, they are using gene therapy injections. I’d never heard of this described as “protein injections” before. In my mind, this is the most promising treatment algorithm for RP … but will probably take a long time to perfect.

  4. Thank you for your reply. I know for a fact that the French, the Brits, and the Germans have been successfully using protein injections for quite a while helping RP patients to see again. Please read this article –>http://www.irrp.asso.fr/?page_id=220.
    They are using a protein called RdCVF (Rod derived Cone Viability Factor)discovered in 2004 by Dr Thierry Léveillard and his team of the Institut de la Vision in Paris This protein “produite par les bâtonnets à l’endroit des cônes et permet leur survie.” meaning this protein is produced by the rods in place of the cones and enables their survival.

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