Properties Of Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa, or retinal degeneration, contains a group of diseases of genetic origin that manifest in different ways. They gradually lead to vision loss, which is slow in some cases and fast in others.
Properties of Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa, or retinal degeneration, has many properties because it is not just one disease. In fact, it is a group of hereditary, degenerative and progressive diseases. Estimates show that retinitis pigmentosa affects one in 4,000 people worldwide.

It is a rare disease because so far only half of the mutations that cause it have been identified. This is despite the fact that retinitis pigmentosa was first described in Donders in 1885, more than a hundred years ago.

The properties of retinitis pigmentosa are complex, and it is a disease that science does not yet fully understand. It is currently believed that its development has a genetic origin, but it is also due to various environmental factors.

However, there is no definitive study on the subject.

Properties of retinitis pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa and eye examination

This is a group of genetic disorders that affect the ability of the retina to respond to light. It usually affects both eyes and leads to gradual loss of vision and in some cases even blindness.

The retina is the layer that covers the inside of the eye. Its job is to receive and process visual information to send it to the brain through the optic nerve. In the retinitis pigmentosa, some retinal cells do not function as they should. Usually there are also pigments in the back of the eye.

The most common such disease occurs in people aged 25-40. However, there are cases where the disease has broken out in people under the age of 20 and very rarely before puberty. The disease can also break out in people over 50 years of age.

Causes of retinitis pigmentosa

The cause of this disease is basically genetic or hereditary. The problem almost always arises from the existence of one or two defective genes. In other cases, the genetic mutation occurs in people who do not have the disease in the family.

There are basically four types of retinitis pigmentosa:

  • Autosomal dominant pattern (ADRP). This occurs when the disease is present in one parent and one child, and accounts for 6-15% of cases.
  • Autosomal recessive pattern (ARRP). This happens when a parent does not have the disease but passes it on and one of the children has the disease. Deterioration begins in older age and accounts for 22-26% of cases.
  • X-linked pattern (XLRP). Here, the mother has no disease, but she passes it on to her other son. That corresponds to 1-10% of cases.
  • Simple pattern. These are cases where parents do not have a family history of the disease or infection patterns. This corresponds to 50% of cases.

It is currently suspected that there are environmental factors associated with the occurrence of this disease. It has been estimated that the intake of lutein, antioxidant vitamins and Omega-3 slows the progression of this disease. As well as smoking, alcohol, sunlight, and stress seem to accelerate it.

Other facts related to this disease

Retinitis pigmentosa

The first symptom of the disease is usually vision problems at dusk or at night. Also, the ability to detect the peripheral field of view is gradually lost, leading to tunnel vision. In other words, people with this state can only see who or what is right in front of them.

Deterioration usually occurs slowly and gradually. Often, several years elapse between the onset of symptoms and the diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa. Also note that not all people are affected by the disease in the same way, even if they are from the same family.

There is currently no cure for the disease, but it is constantly being studied. Researchers believe that there are currently about two million people in the world with this disease. Estimates also show that every 80 people have the defective gene that causes it.

A person diagnosed with this disease needs psychological support to cope with the possibility of complete blindness. Almost everyone can live an independent life, even blind, if a person physically and mentally educates themselves on it.

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