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Retinitas Pigmentosa - An vision degeneration problem slowed with a possible microchip cure.

Updated on September 03, 2016
Retinitas Pigmentosa
Retinitas Pigmentosa
Microchip implant diagram
Microchip implant diagram
Actual microchip implant
Actual microchip implant

Many of you may never had heard of Retinitas Pigmentosa (RP) it is a rare inherited disorder (1 in 3700 people) where the retina (the light sensitive membrane on the inner back surface of the eye) progressively degenerates causing eventual blindness. Conventional medical opinion is that nothing can be done but there are complementary approaches which can achieve a more positive outlook.

Vitamin A – Professor Dr Eliot Berson of Harvard Medical School believes that the degeneration can be slowed by 20% per year by using vitamin A and he has worked on this over the last 20 years. In treating adults with typical retinitis pigmentosa – he uses vitamin A palmitate/DHA supplementation in capsule form over a two year period. He and his colleagues have also been responsible for the discovery of several gene mutations which cause retinitis pigmentosa and for the development and treatment of laboratory models simulating this condition. His research continued with slowing the rate of progression of retinitis pigmentosa and recording the disease course through molecular genetic analyses. He works with the Electroretinography (ERG) Service attached to the Berman-Gund Laboratory at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and patients can come for diagnosis, prognosis, and the start of vitamin A therapy if appropriate.

If you feel that you want to self-treat because you have no access to his facility you can take 15,000iu vitamin A per day and evidence suggests that you can prolong your eyesight by up to 10 years. However, if you do this you must not take vitamin E at the same time otherwise it will lower the amount of vitamin A available to the body.

Your diet should include natural sources of vitamin A – add liver and milk but not carrots because although they contain carotene it will not be used by the eye. Your diet, however, will not give you sufficient vitamin A. Berson’s research using patient questionnaires showed that those taking sufficiently high doses of vitamin A preserved their sight for longer.

Don’t be tempted to take vitamin A in doses higher than mentioned as in excess it cause serious problems and do nothing to further improve your eyesight in the long-term.

There are remedies that claim to be based on traditional Chinese medicine but I can find no bona-fide clinical trial information and the herbs used have no known history of dealing with this problem. They are also very expensive and if you use them it is at your own risk and some of these have a troubled reputation.

There are also some Ayurvedic Herbal Treatments available that have a better reputation but most use herbal combinations that I am not familiar with and consequently I can make no recommendations. It may, however, be worth seeking a consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner.

Looking forward to a more technological approach, initial research in the USA and clinical trials in the UK, Germany and Hong Kong is approaching fruition to produce a light-sensitive microchip retinal implant that contains 1500 mini electrodes that will stimulate the neural pathways and transmit visual images to the brain. The intention is that this will give better vision to those with macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Apparently the images will be slower to form than natural eyesight but will enable those who are blind to see again. I have not seen any final reports on this yet but it must be worth keeping up to date. Apart from these trial results, which are very encouraging, it is someway from a final product and currently only gives rudimentary vision – but some vision is better than blindness. As I hear more I will up-date this article.

© 2012 Peter Geekie

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    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Interesting article as I was not familiar with this condition. What are the symptoms? I like the explanation on the natural approach and was surprised carrots don't work.

    • Peter Geekie profile image
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      Peter Geekie 4 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear Healthylife2

      I'm sorry I should have explained the symptoms.

      General speaking it will start with reduced night vision. This should not be confused with the fact that some people naturally have poor night vision caused by the distribution of rods and cones in the eye and this gets no worse.

      To the night vision problem will be added a situation known as tunnel vision where blackness encroaches from the sides leading to the vision only being available in the centre. Finally that area of vision is blanked out as blindness covers the central area also.

      It is a frightening condition with an overwhelming feeling of inevitability as conventional medicine can offer nothing.

      This why I felt it important to write about and to try and re-assure any sufferers that all is not lost. There is a known treatment to slow down the deterioration (above) and the opportunity that microchip science can take over when the inevitable happens.

      The carotene contained in carrots is not vitamin A it just will be turned into a type of vitamin A which the body can use basically anywhere other than the eyes. The story of carrots improving night vision was part of British propaganda during the last war to deceive the Germans into believing our night fighter pilots had better vision because they ate more carrots. It was really just a ploy to get people to eat more carrots because they were abundant (there was a little bit of science which is always a good point in any propaganda). Good night fighter pilots just had the correct distribution of rods and cone and just had naturally good night vision.

      Kind regards Peter

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Thanks for taking the time to answer my question in detail and provide more helpful information!

    • Peter Geekie profile image
      Author

      Peter Geekie 4 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear healthylife2

      You are very welcome and if you or anyone else has further questions please do not hesitate to ask

      Kind regards Peter

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

      My eyesight has become really bad especially closeness, I need glasses for everything now. I have read that R/A Rheumatoid Arthritis has cause this problem. Now I'm wondering if vitamin A will still help? Joyce

    • Peter Geekie profile image
      Author

      Peter Geekie 4 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear Joyce

      I have articles on R/A and macular degeneration still to write. I had a look at R/A causing vision problems but I have nothing specific on my files. However, vitamin A is necessary for proper eye function along with Vitamin B Complex which is needed for intercellular eye metabolism.Vitamin C with bioflavonoids reduces intraocular pressure and Bilberry extract improves daytime and nighttime vision.

      I will look further at this before I publish anything.

      Kind regards Peter

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Very interesting. I had not heard of Vitamin A being good for eyesight. Thanks for the information.

    • Peter Geekie profile image
      Author

      Peter Geekie 4 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Thank you Lipnancy

      Vitamin A is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde, it can either be very useful or problematic depending on the application but never overdose on it.

      Kind regards Peter

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