Retinitis pigmentosa is an eye disorder of a degenerative and hereditary nature that produces a severe deterioration in visual capacity and in many cases leads to blindness. In Spain, the number of people affected exceeds 15,000, and it is estimated that some 60,000 people carry the faulty genes responsible and thus may possibly pass the disease on. It affects one in every 2,000 people and is the main cause of total blindness.
Retinitis pigmentosa affects one in every 2,000 people and is the main cause of total blindness. Retinitis pigmentosa describes a group of hereditary disorders of the retina that are characterized by a progressive loss of photoreceptor cells (apoptosis), predominantly those of the rod type, and of the pigmentary epithelium of the retina, due to mutations of specific proteins and enzymes of the same. A hereditary component is present in half of cases of retinitis pigmentosa and the prognosis, as well as its progression, may be related with this inheritance.
The appearance of this disease generally occurs between the ages of 25 and 40 years and its first symptoms are difficulty in adapting to the dark and a progressive loss of visual field. Currently there is no effective treatment available for retinitis pigmentosa.
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