What is Retinits Pigmentosa (RP)?
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is an eye disease that affects 100,000 Americans. It starts with having trouble seeing at night and other low-lights conditions. Later, peripheral vision deteriorates, resulting in "tunnel vision". Eventually, complete blindness can result. The rate of loss of vision varies among individuals, but usually it is slow, over a period of many years. The disease is hereditary, and more than one family member is usually affected.
Not until recently, doctors could do nothing to help RP patients. Then in the mid-1990's, a study showed that 15,000 IU of vitamin A helped slow down the progression of the disease in some individuals. It was not a cure, but it was the only thing that seemed to help. Since then, researchers have discovered interesting connections between RP and DHA levels. This may lead to developing other treatments for this and other vision disorders.
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