Browse By Topic: Stargardt Disease

Stargardt disease is an inherited condition that causes gradual degeneration of the macula, the small area in the center of the retina that provides the central vision needed for reading, driving, recognizing colors, and other everyday activities. Effects of Stargardt disease, which start at an early age, vary from minor to total loss of detail vision. However, peripheral (side) and night vision usually remain unaffected, and complete loss of sight is rare. There is no cure for Stargardt disease, but low vision optical, non-optical, and electronic devices can help with many everyday tasks. Learn more about tips and techniques for everyday living skills, safe indoor movement and outdoor travel, and helpful everyday living products. Register to receive alerts and news relating to vision loss, including the latest updates in low vision and technology research.

Our Readers Want to Know: What Is the Progress of Stem Cell Research for Eye Disease? Answer: It Has a Very Long Way to Go

Logo of the Association forResearch in Vision andOphthalmology Of all the eye research developments reported on the VisionAware blog, it is stem cell research for eye disease that generates the most inquiries from readers. Many readers request information about how to join a stem cell clinical trial, or find a doctor who will perform stem cell treatments. In response to these inquiries, my message is always the same: "Although stem cell research has produced interesting results, it is in its very earliest stages and must be subjected to additional, longer-term, rigorous study and clinical trials, encompassing many more years of research. Success in this


Understanding Low Vision Care and Low Vision Devices: Part 2 in a Series on Low Vision and Low Vision Services by Bryan Gerritsen, CLVT

Guest blogger Bryan Gerritsen is a certified low vision therapist (CLVT) and owner of Low Vision Rehabilitation Services, providing low vision services throughout Utah. He is also the author of An Overview of Low Vision Devices,


There Is Hope; There Is Help: Part 1 in a Series on Low Vision and Low Vision Services by Bryan Gerritsen, CLVT

Guest blogger Bryan Gerritsen is a certified low vision therapist (CLVT) and owner of Low Vision Rehabilitation Services, providing low vision services throughout Utah. He is also the author of An Overview of Low Vision Devices,


Meet Author Irv Arons and Learn More About Gene Therapy and Gene Editing for Eye Disease

Irv Arons is the creator of – and driving force behind – Irv Arons' Journal, an online compendium of the latest information on ophthalmics, medical lasers, clinical trials, developments in stem cell therapy and gene therapy, and emerging drug therapies and treatments for retinal diseases, including age-related macular degeneration. Until his retirement in 2005, Irv was a consultant to the ophthalmic industry for over 30 years, and to the medical laser industry for over 20 years.


The First Stem Cell Clinical Trial for Wet Macular Degeneration Is Underway in London

Please note: This is an older post and there have been setbacks and significant changes in stem cell research for eye disease since this was first published. For more current information, see Our Readers Want to Know: What Is the Progress of Stem Cell Research for Eye Disease? Answer: It Has a Very Long Way to Go. Also see the author's updates in the comment section below. A pioneering clinical trial of a new treatment derived from embryonic


A New Stem Cell Immune Rejection Discovery Shows Promise for Treating Retinal Disease

A joint China-United States research team has discovered that a class of stem cells derived from an individual's own cells were not rejected by the immune system when they were turned into retinal pigment epithelium cells destined for the eye. This important discovery provides a boost for the development of human stem cell therapies to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Although this research has been conducted only with laboratory mice, this concept shows great promise for developing and identifying human stem cell treatments for a variety


Optogenetics: Can This Innovative Gene Therapy Treat Degenerative Retinal Disease and Possibly Restore Sight?

A research group of Swiss and German scientists has restored vision to mice with a condition similar to retinitis pigmentosa (RP) by introducing engineered light-sensing proteins into their eyes, via a process known as optogenetics. Optogenetics is a still-experimental treatment for a variety of blinding retinal disorders that uses gene therapy to enable retinal and brain cells to respond to light. According to the researchers, "… optogenetic gene therapy, which selectively introduces genes encoding light-sensitive proteins into surviving retinal cells to act as


Updated Stem Cell Clinical Trial Results for Stargardt Disease and Dry Macular Degeneration

Please note: this is an older post and much has changed since the time of publication. For more current information, see Our Readers Want to Know: What Is the Progress of Stem Cell Research for Eye Disease? Answer: It Has a Very Long Way to Go. Also see the author's updates, below. On October 14, 2014, Ocata Therapeutics (formerly Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.) announced positive


Meet the Vision Institute and StreetLab: Vision Research, Simulations, and Education in Paris

During Vision Research Month, it gives me great pleasure to highlight the work of the Vision Institute of Paris and its subsidiary StreetLab. Both organizations are committed to ongoing vision research, with StreetLab featuring complementary and innovative outreach methods to enhance accessibility, inclusion, public awareness, and education. The Vision Institute of Paris (L'Institut de la Vision de Paris) Located in the center of Paris, the Vision Institute is an interdisciplinary research center that addresses eye diseases, vision loss, environmental modification, and daily living skills through the


Developments in Stem Cell Therapy for Macular Disease

Since November 2010, I have been following Advanced Cell Technology's (ACT) quest to implement successful clinical trials for macular eye disease, using human embryonic stem cells. ACT's U.S. and European Phase I/II clinical trials each involve a total of 12 patients, in groups of three (also called cohorts). The first group/cohort received a dosage of 50,000 cells, the second will receive 100,000 cells, the third will receive 150,000 cells and the final group/cohort will be dosed with 200,000 cells. The Most Recent Clinical Trial On April 15, 2013, ACT announced treatment of the first


The Latest Developments in Stem Cell Therapy for Macular Disease

Since November 2010, I have been following Advanced Cell Technology's (ACT) quest to implement successful clinical trials for macular eye disease, using human embryonic stem cells. ACT's U.S. and European Phase I/II clinical trials each involve a total of 12 patients, in groups of three (also called cohorts). The first group/cohort received a dosage of 50,000 cells, the second will receive 100,000 cells, the third will receive 150,000 cells and the final group/cohort will be dosed with 200,000 cells. ACT also has announced that Scotland's NHS Lothian


Tracking the Latest Developments in Stem Cell Therapy for Macular Disease

Since November 2010, I have been following Advanced Cell Technology's (ACT) quest to implement successful clinical trials for macular eye disease, using human embryonic stem cells. Here is an update of ACT's progress to date: Moorfields Eye Hospital On July 27, 2012, ACT announced the treatment of the third patient in its European Phase I/II clinical trials for Stargardt's disease, using retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. The most recent surgery was performed at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London,


A New Website from the National Institutes of Health: Clinical Research Trials and You

From a press release from the National Institutes of Health (NIH): The National Institutes of Health has created a new website, NIH Clinical Research Trials and You, to help people learn more about clinical trials, why they matter, and how to participate. From the first cure of a solid tumor with chemotherapy to the use of nitroglycerin in response to heart attacks, clinical research trials – or research studies involving people – have played a vital role in improving health and quality of life for people around the


An Excellent Series on Macular Degeneration from The New York Times

As our readers know, I am committed to investigating and reporting the latest information about macular degeneration, including ongoing research and clinical trial results; thus I am extremely pleased to note that the New York Times is presenting a three-pronged series on macular diseases and disorders. In the latest installment of the New York Times Patient Voices series, health writer Tara Parker-Pope introduces


Update on Stem Cell Clinical Trials for Dry Macular Degeneration and Stargardt's Disease

On Tuesday, July 12, 2011, Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) announced the treatment of the first two patients in its two Phase I/II clinical trials for Stargardt's disease and dry macular degeneration (AMD), using retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. The procedures were carried out by principal investigator Steven Schwartz, M.D., Ahmanson Professor of Ophthalmology at the David Geffen School of


Stem Cell Therapy for Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Once again, Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) is in the news with yet another potential advance in stem cell therapy for macular disease, in this case for the dry form of macular degeneration. To better understand this latest development, here is background information from my prior blog post about ACT's initial stem cell therapy trial for Stargardt


Stem Cells for Stargardt's Disease

Wow. This is surprising – and groundbreaking – news. First, here's some background: In August of this year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Judge Royce Lamberth of U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. had issued a preliminary injunction against federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. The judge stated that federal funding violated a 1996 law prohibiting federal money for research in which a human embryo was destroyed. Many federally funded stem cell research projects were placed on "clinical hold"


Follow Us:

Blog Archive Browse Archive

Join Our Mission

Help us expand our resources for people with vision loss.