Background
Gray font color on white background Black font color on white background White font color on black background White font color on dark blue background
Font Size

Treatments » Retinitis Pigmentosa

As yet, there is no known cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa. However, intensive research is currently under way to discover the cause, prevention, and treatment of RP. At this time, retinitis pigmentosa researchers have identified a first step in managing Retinitis Pigmentosa. While not a cure, certain doses of vitamin A have been found to slightly slow the progression of retinitis pigmentosa in some individuals. An information packet on this research breakthrough is available from The Foundation. Researchers have found some of the genes that cause retinitis pigmentosa. It is now possible, in some families with X-linked RP or autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa, to perform a test on genetic material from blood and other cells to determine if members of an affected family have one of several Retinitis Pigmentosa genes.

Emerging Gene Therapy for RP Receives Fast-Track Designation

Granted by the FDA, the designation is a critical step in moving the Foundation-funded treatment toward a clinical trial.

Foundation Researchers Publish Vitamin A Safety Data

This clinical trial heralded vitamin A as the first sight-saving treatment for RP.

In 1993, Dr. Eliot Berson and colleagues at The Foundation's Research Center, the Berman-Gund Laboratory for the Study of Retinal Degenerations of Harvard Medical School, published results from a clinical trial, which found that a daily dose of 15,000 IU of vitamin A palmitate on average slowed the course of common forms of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) including Usher syndrome type II. This clinical trial heralded vitamin A as the first sight-saving treatment for RP.

Study Shows Vitamin A Slows RP

Most adults with blinding retinitis pigmentosa should take a daily 15,000 IU vitamin A palmitate supplement and avoid high dose vitamin E to help prolong their vision.

Most adults with blinding retinitis pigmentosa (RP) should take a daily 15,000 IU vitamin A palmitate supplement and avoid high dose vitamin E to help prolong their vision, based on results from a large randomized clinical trial published in the June 1993 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

Procedure For Obtaining a Red Blood Cell Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Level

September 23, 2004

1. Patients should fast overnight. If not feasible, fast at least 4 hours prior to the blood draw.

2. Use a 5 ml EDTA - Lavender top vacutainer tub (Becton Dickenson Catalog #DB366452 or #DB367863). Collect about 3 ml of blood in an EDTA tube. The tube should be labeled with the PATIENT'S NAME and the DATE THE BLOOD WAS DRAWN.

Known Sources of Neuromins® DHA 200mg

DHA in a dose of 600 mg twice a day has been recommended for most adult patients with typical retinitis pigmentosa who are starting vitamin A palmitate 15,000 IU/day for the first time (see Berson et al; Archives of Ophthalmology 122: 1306-1314, 2004). Patients with retinitis pigmentosa should consult with their doctor concerning whether DHA is appropriate for them before ordering this supplement.

New Treatment Regimen for Patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa

HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL * MASSACHUSETTS EYE AND EAR INFIRMARY
BERMAN-GUND LABORATORY

FOR THE STUDY OF RETINAL DEGENERATIONS
243 Charles Street Boston Massachusetts 02114

September 23, 2004

New Treatment Regimen for Patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa

In June 1993, we reported in the Archives of Ophthalmology that vitamin A palmitate 15,000 IU/day helped to preserve retinal function while vitamin E 400 IU/day appeared to hasten the loss of retinal function among patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). This led to the recommendation that most adults with the typical forms of RP should take vitamin A palmitate 15,000 IU/day and avoid high dose vitamin E supplements such as the 400 IU/day used in this study. This recommendation remains the same today.

New Findings Lead to Revised Therapeutic Regimen to Slow RP

By Alan Laties, M.D. Chairman of the FFB Scientific Advisory Board

The Berman-Gund Laboratory for the Study of Retinal Degenerations, at Harvard Medical School, has just completed the second in an ongoing series of clinical trials testing nutritional or other supplements as potential therapies for retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The first clinical trial completed in 1993 demonstrated a beneficial effect on visual function of Vitamin A and a deleterious effect of Vitamin E. As a result, the Foundation Fighting Blindness and the National Eye Institute jointly recommended for most adults the daily administration of 15,000 units of Vitamin A palmitate. Not fully understood, either then or now, the beneficial effect of Vitamin A was slow to take effect, becoming evident in the original clinical trial only after several years of administration.

 
US Images

Chapters

Select a state from the dropdown below to view local chapters.


Free Information

Register here to receive free information about your eye condition and research efforts to find treatments and cures.

VISIONS 2014 banner
2013 Annual Report banner
VisionWalk banner
Events Calendar