Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of genetic diseases that cause progressive degeneration of the retina in both eyes. The signs of the disease usually present in youth or young adulthood, but can occur at any age. The symptoms of RP vary and can include night blindness in early stages of the disease. During later stages, patients experience a progressive loss of peripheral vision that leads to blindness. However, many patients with progressive RP may continue to perform daily tasks with the help of low vision aids and devices. There 100,000 people in the United States are affected by RP.
Researchers at Bascom Palmer’s Retinal Degeneration Center are studying the genetic causes and possible treatment options for RP, but unfortunately, there is currently no cure for this blinding disease. Potential treatment strategies being explored include gene therapy, stem cell, and neurotrophic factors. In addition, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System has received humanitarian approval from the FDA and is an option for patients with severe vision loss due to advanced RP, specifically with bare light perception or no light perception vision only. The Argus II is made by Second Sight Medical Products Inc., a California medical device manufacturer.
For more information about the Argus II, please click here or contact 305-326-6575.