What Is the Standard Treatment for Macular Dystrophy?


Quick Answer

There is no standard treatment for macular dystrophy as of December 2015, reports WebMD. Scientists continue ongoing research focusing on stem cells in relation to the disease.

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Macular dystrophy is a genetic condition that causes vision loss, states WebMD. Damage to a certain area of the retina, called the macula, makes it difficult to see straight ahead. Daily activities, including reading and driving, are difficult to perform when this area is damaged. The damage to the macula occurs when a pigment builds up in the cells. While this pigment causes blurry vision when the patient is looking directly ahead, peripheral vision is maintained.

Macular dystrophy is found in children and adults, according to WebMD. When diagnosed in children, it is called Best disease. Children with Best disease have at least one parent with the condition. Macular dystrophy diagnosed in mid-adulthood causes worsening vision over time. It is unclear how the adult-onset disease is passed genetically as many people with this form of macular dystrophy have no relatives with the condition.

Macular dystophy is caused by a genetic mutation affecting one or two genes, reports WebMD. A mutation on the BEST1 gene causes Best disease in children but can also causes adult-onset macular dystrophy. A mutation on the PRPH2 gene causes only adult-onset macular dystrophy, but in most cases, it is unknown which gene has the mutation. It is also unknown why only central vision is affected, while peripheral vision is left intact.

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