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Retinitis Pigmentosa

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Retinitis Pigmentosa and Usher Syndrome
Congenital Deafness and Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinitis Pigmentosa in Pregnancy
Genetics and Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinitis Pigmentosa History
Stem Cell and Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation
Eye Chip for Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinitis Pigmentosa Effects
CMV Retinitis
Cytomegalovirus Retinitis
Macular Degeneration

The Basics of Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa is a progressive degeneration of the retina (part of the eye) which affects night vision and peripheral vision.

Prevention

Genetic counseling may determine the risk of this disease occurring in a person's offspring.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Retinitis pigmentosa commonly runs in families. The disorder can be caused by defects in a number of different genes which have recently been identified.

The cells controlling night vision, called rods, are most likely to be affected. However, in some cases, retinal cone cells are most damaged. The hallmark of the disease is the presence of dark pigmented spots in the retina.

As the disease progresses, peripheral vision is greadually lost. The condition may eventually lead to blindness, but usually not complete blindness. Signs and symptoms often first appear in childhood, but severe visual problems do not usually develop until early adulthood.

The main risk factor is a family history of retinitis pigmentosa. It is an uncommon condition affecting about 1 in 4,000 people in the U.S.

Expectations (prognosis)

The disorder will continue to progress, though at a very slow pace. Complete blindness is uncommon.

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