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What is retinitis pigmentosa?

As retinitis pigmentosa refers to a group of hereditary retinal disease that causes a progressive loss of vision until, in severe cases, to total blindness. Early symptoms consist in the decreased ability to see in the dark and in the narrowing of the visual field. In some other cases, it starts with the loss of the central field of vision. In most cases, symptoms are manifested at an early age: that is, before the age of 20. There are other forms of this disease that in addition to retinitis pigmentosa, also associated with deafness. Those who study this disease, found that there are about one hundred genes that, when they change, damage during the onset of the disease. There are several modes of transmission of this ugly disease: almost all have genetic origin but there are also rare cases where it is subject to the disease without the family there are carriers of the same. The diagnosis is made through clinical observation and the ophthalmologist is then confirmed by several tests, such as examination of the fundus (which will highlight the features of pigment spots in the bottom of the retina) or the electroretinogram (which measures the \'retinal electrical activity). The specialist will then find confirmation of his diagnosis through a patient\'s genetic test. To date there is no definitive treatment of this disease. One can only try to slow down the degenerative process while protecting eyes from sun exposure and making the patient take the vitamins. It is hoped that in the near future the current studies of new treatment strategies such as retinal implants, transplantation of functional cells and gene therapy, give appreciable results to help those who suffer from this disease ranging always supported psychologically throughout the course of the disease.



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