Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)
Retinitis Rigmentosa is the most widespread hereditary cause of blindness in developed nations, with a prevalence of about 1.5 million people throughout the world. In Europe and the United States, about 350,000 to 400,000 patients suffer from RP and every year between 15,000 and 20,000 patients with RP go blind. There is currently no curative treatment for RP.
Retinitis Pigmentosa is a group of hereditary diseases caused by various mutations of genes involved in the visual cycle or participating in the preservation and/or survival of photoreceptor cells themselves. Patients afflicted with RP lose vision progressively over a given period of time that can vary from a few years to more than 20 years. Onset is often early (teenagers and young adults) and patients generally become blind around the age of 40.
RP begins with the gradual loss of peripheral vision, restricting the visual field of view to characteristic tunnel vision. Central vision progressively diminishes until all sight is lost.