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August 2013

A Little Algae a Day Keeps the Retinal Degeneration Specialist Away?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Casey Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2013;131(8):983-984. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.4468

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a genetically heterogeneous inherited retinal degeneration that leads to slow but relentless vision loss, usually starting in the midperipheral field. Although there is no known cure for RP, many dietary supplements have been advocated to slow the progression of retinal degeneration. Based on several studies, the most frequently recommended supplements are vitamin A palmitate,1 docosahexaenoic acid,2 and lutein.3 The exact dietary formulations vary from center to center, and disagreement exists over the efficacy of one compound vs another.4 Nonetheless, most centers do advise some combination of nutritional supplements for individuals with RP.