Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.

Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Retinitis pigmentosa


Other Names for this Disease
  • RP
  • Rod-Cone Dystrophy
Related Diseases
  • Retinitis pigmentosa 1
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa 11
  • Retinitis pigmentosa 12
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa 13
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa 14
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Treatment

Newline Maker

How might retinitis pigmentosa (RP) be treated?

Available treatments aim to slow the progression of the disease and primarily include light avoidance and/or the use of low-vision aids. Some practitioners also consider vitamin A as a possible treatment option. However, taking too much vitamin A can be toxic and the effects of vitamin A on the disease appear to be relatively weak. More research is needed before this can become a widely accepted form of treatment.[1]  Additional studies have explored potential treatment with DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid naturally found in fish.  While DHA is known to play a structural role in retinal cells, more clinical research is needed before supplements can be recommended.[2]

Current research is focused on the development of new treatments including gene therapy, retinal transplantation, and the utilization of a retinal prosthesis. Stem cell transplantation would involve the injection and integration of stem cells into the retina in the hope that these cells will replace dead cells and provide missing enzymes and chemicals needed for sight. Gene therapy could potentially be used when the disease-causing mutation is known and would aim to restore production of functional protein. Studies with retinal prosthetics have tested devices that transform light into electrical signals that can be sent directly to the inner retina and brain, avoiding the diseased part of the outer retina. Though challenges remain, preliminary research into these technologies has been promising.[2][3]
Last updated: 2/23/2016

References
  1. Learning About Retinitis Pigmentosa. National Human Genome Research Institute Web site. December 27, 2013; http://www.genome.gov/13514348.
  2. Garg S. Retinitis pigmentosa: treatment. UpToDate. May 12 2015; http://www.uptodate.com/contents/retinitis-pigmentosa-treatment.
  3. Zarbin M. Cell-Based Therapy for Degenerative Retinal Disease. Trends in Molecular Medicine. February 2016; 22(2):115-34. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26791247.


Management Guidelines

  • GeneReviews provides current, expert-authored, peer-reviewed, full-text articles describing the application of genetic testing to the diagnosis, management, and genetic counseling of patients with specific inherited conditions.

Clinical Trials & Research for this Disease

  • ClinicalTrials.gov lists trials that are studying or have studied Retinitis pigmentosa. Click on the link to go to ClinicalTrials.gov to read descriptions of these studies.
  • Orphanet lists European clinical trials, research studies, and patient registries enrolling people with this condition. 
Other Names for this Disease
  • RP
  • Rod-Cone Dystrophy
Related Diseases
  • Retinitis pigmentosa 1
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa 11
  • Retinitis pigmentosa 12
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa 13
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa 14
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.