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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is retinitis pigmentosa preventable?

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  • Retina Australia (Queensland) provides peer support, information, awareness and advocacy to people with degenerating sight due to a retinal eye disease. Some examples of retinal … View Profile

    At this stage retinitis pigmentosa could not be considered either preventable or treatable. As an inherited condition, genes are passed from one generation to the next and the liklihood that a person will exhibit the symptoms of r.p. will depend on the type of inheritance pattern in their family. For instance a dominant (adRP) form may manifest itself in 50% of the offspring, while in a recessive (arRP) form the overall occurance may be 25%. Other forms such as X-linked and mitochondrial will express in a different pattern. It is always wise to seek expert genetic advice on the genetic implications for an individual.

    There is much research being carried out in the field of gene therapy as well as stem cell therapy, pharmacological interventions and bionic vision.

    The answer to the question is that currently nothing can be done to prevent/cure retinitis pitmentosa. It is wise thought to maintain maximum functioning sight through not smoking, a healthy diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants, exercise, protection from ultra violet radiation with good sunglasses and regular checkups with your optometrist and ophthalmologist.  For further information, or to contact Retina Australia (Qld) go to the website at www.retinaqld.org.au or the national organisation at www.retinaaustralia.com.au

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