In the inaugural review article for the Mechanisms of Ophthalmologic Disease section in the January 1996 issue of the Archives, Dr Adler1 begins with the statement, "There is still no effective treatment for retinal degenerative diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP), in which the loss of photoreceptor cells causes visual loss and eventually blindness." It is surprising that no mention is made of "A Randomized Trial of Vitamin A and Vitamin E Supplementation for Retinitis Pigmentosa," an article by Berson et al2 published in the June 1993 issue of the Archives. Also in 1993, the National Eye Institute issued a report of this trial's results and recommended that patients with RP take vitamin A palmitate (C. Kupfer, MD, written communication, June 14, 1993).
This treatment trial was initiated prior to the discovery that RP may involve "genes by the dozen, mutations by the score."1 No evidence was
Crane WG. Mechanisms of Photoreceptor Death in Retinal Degenerations: From the Cell Biology of the 1990s to the Ophthalmology of the 21 st Century?. Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(9):1158. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100140360028