How Genetics Contribute to Middle-Age Vision Loss

How Genetics Contribute to Middle-Age Vision Loss

Genetic testing shows that genetics can contribute to vision loss in middle-aged people. A study by the University of Edinburgh showed that photoreceptors in middle-aged patients are fundamentally different than those of younger, more healthy family members.

This phenomenon is due to the gene RPGR, which can cause eye cells to suffer from X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, which causes chemical change in the eyes and causes vision loss to begin as early as childhood.

There is no cure for retinitis pigmentosa, but vitamins are often seen as a useful treatment. Combinations of vitamin A, fish oil, and lutein may slow down vision loss from this condition, which is hereditary. Therefore, people who do suffer from the condition would be well-advised to seek a physician’s advice before having children.

New insights and research into the field of gene therapy show promise in reversing this condition. Faulty genes may be able to be copied and then mutated os that they cellular material will grow, allowing the eye to see properly.

Additionally, stem cell injections and biomedical implants are treatment options which are available.

While we cannot yet cure blindness, genetic research and other advances in medical science make conditions such as this more treatable than ever.

Key Points:

  • 1Genetics can be critical in helping doctors understand and predict how age can lead to vision loss.
  • 2Vitamins can be very effective in managing and treating the effects of retinitis pigmentosa; including Vitamin A and fish oil.
  • 3Stem cells are currently being investigated for effective treatments for the condition, and are hoped to be developed in the future.


Researchers at the University of Edinburgh studied the gene RPGR to see how it relates to X-linked retinitis pigmentosa. Retinitis pigmentosa causes chemical changes in the eye that usually begin with a loss of night vision starting as early as childhood. Over time, the disease leads to blind spots then tunnel vision and eventually blindness.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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