Stargardt's disease: Can it be treated?

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Stargardt's disease: Can it be treated?

Question

What is the treatment for Stargardt's disease?

Mark
Hawaii

Answer

Stargardt's disease is a rare, inherited form of macular degeneration. It typically affects children and young adults. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment.

The macula is the part of the retina that provides your central, or straight-ahead, vision. Macular degeneration results in blurred central vision or a blind spot in or near the center of your visual field. Vision loss often progresses to the extent that it may be difficult to see the large "E" on the vision chart. But this usually doesn't occur for several years. People with macular degeneration typically retain their peripheral, or side, vision.

Stargardt's disease is usually inherited as an autosomal recessive disorder. This means you must inherit one abnormal gene from each parent to develop the disease. A doctor may confirm a diagnosis of Stargardt's disease by examination of the retina, which shows a granular, peppery discoloration — often with yellow-white flecks that have irregular shapes. Although there is no treatment for Stargardt's disease, optical aids such as magnifiers may be of value for close-up tasks.

Last Updated: 07/20/2006
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