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Optometry. 2009 Jul;80(7):384-401. doi: 10.1016/j.optm.2008.01.026.

Review and update: current treatment trends for patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

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Orinda Optometry Group, Orinda, California, USA.



Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a heterogeneous group of inherited retinal disorders characterized by progressive photoreceptor apoptosis. It is the leading cause of inherited retinal degeneration-associated blindness. RP has a unique set of clinical characteristics that make it a complex disease associated with distinct inheritance patterns. An understanding of the pathogenesis is essential in the process of the differential diagnosis and the development of treatment options. Recent developments in research are likely to expand the various therapeutic modalities to include gene therapy, pharmacologic treatment, cell transplantation, and neuro-prosthetic devices.


A literature search was performed to comprehensively review RP diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment.


Advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology of RP are creating new opportunities for the treatment of this often visually debilitating eye condition. Optometrists, as primary eye care practitioners, should be aware of the inheritance, pathophysiology, and current treatment options for RP as well as treatments in development so that they can best care for their patients with inherited retinal disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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