Stargardt's disease

Stargardt's disease is the most common inherited form of juvenile macular degeneration. In particular, this type of maculopathy begins in late childhood and progressively leads to legal blindness.

Stargardt's diseaseStargardt's disease

It is similar to age-related macular degeneration and affects about 1 in 20000 children. Boys and girls are equally affected. The disease will be inherited to children when both parents have the gene mutation that cause the disease. The disease onset is during the first or second decade of life with bilateral and progressive impairment of central vision.


Stargardt's disease symptoms

There is a noticable progressive loss of central vision. In early stages, patients may have good visual acuity and may face problems in reading at mesopic (low light) conditions.

Other common symptoms of Stargart's disease include blur vision and distortion of the central visual field. In fundus photos there is a resemblance with macular degeneration profile.

In advanced stages of the disease, macular atrophy as well as atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium are presented. In addition, there are maybe color vision problems.

Vision loss can start from 5/10 to reach 1/20, especially at children. At the age of 50, almost 50% of the patients have 1/10-1/20 visual acuity.

Stargardt's disease diagnosis

In young patients (under 20 yo) Stargardt's disease can be diagnosed under fundoscopy (examination through dilated pupils) on the slit lamp, as well as with a fundus photo.

Gene's detection that cause the disease may be also helpful for verify the early diagnosis.

Furthermore, a color vision test may suspect the disease. Last but not least, special examinations such as fluoroangiography, where a fluoroscent liquid is inserted intravenous, can confirm the condition.

Stargardt's disease treatment

Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for Stargardt's disease currently. However, it is also important the adaptation of the appropriate environment for studying, as well as working for these patients. Suitable low vision aids and good light conditions are also essential to help both children and adults who suffer from the disease in their daily lives.

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