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Retinitis Pigmentosa

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NEWS
February 13, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Retinitis pigmentosa is one of several eye conditions that appears to benefit from nutritional substances. In a study published Monday, researchers found that people with the condition experienced a slowing of the disease process if they took vitamin A supplements and ate a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids. Retinitis pigmentosa causes night blindness by adolescence and eventually tunnel vision and total blindness by about age 60. Vitamin A has been a standard therapy for the condition since 1993 when studies showed it slowed disease progression.
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BUSINESS
April 27, 2013 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
Robert Greenberg got tired of hearing from senior engineers that it wasn't possible to build his product idea: a bionic eye that gives sight to the blind. "A lot of the folks straight out of school didn't know any better, so I hired them instead," quipped Greenberg, chief executive of Second Sight Medical Products Inc., a Sylmar biotech company. "They didn't know how hard it was going to be, that it was impossible. And so they tried. " Greenberg can laugh now that he once thought developing the device would take a year and $1 million.
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NEWS
August 12, 2010
A small preliminary study has found that valproic acid--a drug already used to treat epileptic seizures, migraines and bipolar disorder--may halt or even reverse the loss of vision produced by retinitis pigmentosa, researchers said Thursday. A team from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worchester is now organizing a clinical trial to confirm its observations. Retinitis pigmentosa, commonly known as RP, is a group of eye diseases marked by degeneration of the retina, the part of the eye that captures images, leading to loss of peripheral vision and night vision.
NEWS
February 14, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The FDA on Thursday approved a bionic eye that improves vision for patients blinded by a rare eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa. The Argus II system , a video camera and transmitter mounted on eyeglasses, translates light and movement into electrical signals, which are sent directly to an array of electrodes implanted into a patient's retina. Clinical trials have demonstrated that for patients whose retinal cells have been ravaged by the genetic condition, the visual prosthetic device helps restore the ability to perform many daily activities.
NEWS
December 16, 1991 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
Researchers have identified what they think is the last piece of the genetic puzzle of a major form of retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited disorder that has produced blindness in about 100,000 Americans and 1.5 million people worldwide. The discovery should make possible prenatal screening for the disorders in families with "autosomal dominant" RP, which accounts for about 43% of all cases of the disorder, said geneticist Jeanette S.
NEWS
February 28, 1993 | MICHAEL A. GIARRUSSO, ASSOCIATED PRESS
When Todd Cantrell was 12 years old, his desperate attempt to save his sight made national headlines when he bucked the Cold War and American medical opinion by traveling to Moscow for experimental treatment. "I could see very little," Cantrell says now, 11 years later. "I couldn't even go outside when it was cloudy." Today, Cantrell is a 23-year-old man living with his parents on the edge of the north Georgia mountains.
NEWS
November 25, 1986 | LINK MATHEWSON
For the past nine years, Mary Casper, Orange County director of Retinitis Pigmentosa International, has kept the organization's office fires burning in her Fullerton home. On Friday night the organization celebrated its 10th anniversary at the Princess Alicante Hotel in Garden Grove. Featured on the $100-per-plate agenda was a "roast" of Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda.
NEWS
December 15, 1989 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
UCLA researchers believe they have isolated the gene that causes loss of vision in a strain of mice, a defect that serves as a model for retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited disease that has produced blindness in about 100,000 Americans and 1.5 million people worldwide. Retinitis pigmentosa, commonly known as RP, is thought to be caused by a number of different genes.
NEWS
July 18, 1989 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, Times Science Writer
Researchers from Texas and Ireland said Monday that they have identified the location of the gene that causes one major form of retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that has produced blindness in nearly 100,000 Americans and 1.5 million people worldwide. The discovery of a genetic marker for the disorder, commonly called RP, on Chromosome 3 makes possible prenatal screening for the disorder in some families. It also brings researchers close to isolating the gene.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 5, 2011 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
Bill Fulton — urban planner, urbane public speaker and mayor of Ventura — was starting to stumble. In dim meeting rooms, he had trouble reading. At the civic events he attended almost nightly, he left some people puzzled — even angered — when they extended their hands and he failed to grasp them. "I can't always see it when someone wants to shake hands with me," he said. "When you're a politician, that's not good. " Fulton, a member of Ventura's City Council since 2003, will step down from office Monday and leave town next spring, largely as an adjustment to an eye disease that is slowly robbing him of his sight.
NEWS
February 13, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Retinitis pigmentosa is one of several eye conditions that appears to benefit from nutritional substances. In a study published Monday, researchers found that people with the condition experienced a slowing of the disease process if they took vitamin A supplements and ate a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids. Retinitis pigmentosa causes night blindness by adolescence and eventually tunnel vision and total blindness by about age 60. Vitamin A has been a standard therapy for the condition since 1993 when studies showed it slowed disease progression.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 5, 2011 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
Bill Fulton — urban planner, urbane public speaker and mayor of Ventura — was starting to stumble. In dim meeting rooms, he had trouble reading. At the civic events he attended almost nightly, he left some people puzzled — even angered — when they extended their hands and he failed to grasp them. "I can't always see it when someone wants to shake hands with me," he said. "When you're a politician, that's not good. " Fulton, a member of Ventura's City Council since 2003, will step down from office Monday and leave town next spring, largely as an adjustment to an eye disease that is slowly robbing him of his sight.
NEWS
August 12, 2010
A small preliminary study has found that valproic acid--a drug already used to treat epileptic seizures, migraines and bipolar disorder--may halt or even reverse the loss of vision produced by retinitis pigmentosa, researchers said Thursday. A team from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worchester is now organizing a clinical trial to confirm its observations. Retinitis pigmentosa, commonly known as RP, is a group of eye diseases marked by degeneration of the retina, the part of the eye that captures images, leading to loss of peripheral vision and night vision.
SCIENCE
October 25, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Pennsylvania researchers using gene therapy have made significant improvements in vision in 12 patients with a rare inherited visual defect, a finding that suggests it may be possible to produce similar improvements in a much larger number of patients with retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration. The team last year reported success with three adult patients, an achievement that was hailed as a major accomplishment for gene therapy. They have now treated an additional nine patients, including five children, and find that the best results are achieved in the youngest patients, whose defective retinal cells have not had time to die off. The youngest patient, 9-year-old Corey Haas, was considered legally blind before the treatment began.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 22, 2005 | Don Shirley
"Revelation" is the title of a new play by Christina Kokubo. And when it opens next month in Los Angeles, it may well be true to its title. That's because the cast will be made up entirely of blind actors, although the characters are all fully sighted. The play, about a group of people in a mystical land taking shelter during a crisis, was written and is being directed by Kokubo, who began teaching drama at the Braille Institute five years ago.
NEWS
September 28, 1999 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, TIMES MEDICAL WRITER
A widely used heart drug can sharply slow the progression of an inherited form of blindness called retinitis pigmentosa, according to experiments in mice reported today by French researchers. This has the potential to be the first effective treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, commonly called RP, which afflicts as many as 200,000 people in the United States, according to the researchers.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 3, 1989 | ALEENE MacMINN, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Dionne Warwick, Mel Torme, Jack Jones, Marilyn McCoo, Patti LaBelle and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are among many celebrities featured on a recording of a new song called "Forgotten Eyes." The record is the new campaign anthem of Retinitis Pigmentosa International. It will be released in September on the Motown label, and proceeds from the record will fund research into the causes of retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 26, 1986
While celebrities offered telethon plugs Saturday night for eye disease research, citizens in Woodland Hills were offered telephone plugs. Retinitis Pigmentosa International asked volunteers to bring their own telephones to the six-hour fund-raising telethon. Twenty-five lines were installed at the charity's Woodland Hills headquarters rather than at the television studio, as is customary for telethons. That saved about $12,000, said Roz Glick, the charity's office manager.
NEWS
June 15, 1993 | Associated Press
Large daily doses of Vitamin A can slow the slide toward blindness for patients with retinitis pigmentosa and may save years of eyesight for 100,000 Americans with the inherited affliction, a new study indicates. The same study also showed that large supplemental doses of Vitamin E actually accelerate the disease, said Dr. Eliot L. Berson, a Harvard Medical School researcher.
NEWS
February 28, 1993 | MICHAEL A. GIARRUSSO, ASSOCIATED PRESS
When Todd Cantrell was 12 years old, his desperate attempt to save his sight made national headlines when he bucked the Cold War and American medical opinion by traveling to Moscow for experimental treatment. "I could see very little," Cantrell says now, 11 years later. "I couldn't even go outside when it was cloudy." Today, Cantrell is a 23-year-old man living with his parents on the edge of the north Georgia mountains.
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