In retinitis pigmentosa, the cells responsible for vision in bright and dim conditions, as well as color and clarity (photoreceptor cells) will stop working for a period of time before they die. Therefore, it follows if the death of these cells can be prevented, delayed or replaced, the chance of retaining vision is higher.
In a recent study with 94 patients, researchers decided to try injection of growth factors, which are naturally occurring substances that can encourage cell growth and wound healing, into the retina. These growth factors were platelet rich plasma, taken from the patient’s own blood, which has been concentrated and processed. These injections occurred three times, every two weeks. Patients experienced notable improvement in their visual functions, more specifically in their visual acuity, visual field and ability to control their eyes (fixation stability) with no mentioned side effects or negative reactions.
What this means for Usher Syndrome: If this procedure continues to demonstrate success without negative side effects, this may become a promising and relatively simple therapy option for Usher patients and patients with retinitis pigmentosa.