- Stargardt: about this page
- treatment options
- special considerations
- general information
Sometimes referred to as juvenile macular degeneration, Stargardt also involves progressive central vision loss.
One of the more confusing retinal diseases, we have seen people diagnosed before they were six and others with healthy vision until they are first diagnosed in their mid-40s.
Also confusing is the genetics behind this condition. Often associated with abnormalities on what is called the ABCR gene, but there are people with macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa who also have a genetic defect on the ABCR gene. Please see the tab about genetics low for more information on this.
We also hear a lot of misinformation about recommendations for the use of vitamin A for people with Stargardt. This is an evolving and complex discussion and there is more information under the tab on nutrition below. For now, know that we have seen people with Stargardt gain real improvements in their vision when they do the Better Eye Health Program, so we are confident about our recommendations for type and dosing of vitamin A.
These pages and this website are here to inform you of the things you can do, the history of Stargardt treatments, the science behind it and stories to help give you some hope for your own vision. There is Hope for Sight.
We've tried to organize this material in a logical way. Please browse the tabs on the left and if you have questions please contact us. If you are ready to start program of self-directed treatments that can stop the vision loss and even restore lost vision then you will definitely want to contact us. Thank you.
We did a series of three articles on the treatment of Stargardt Disease at OrganicMD.com. You will like them. The links are below:
Stargardt Treatment Now, Part 1: Your Genetics Are Not Your Destiny. Click Here to see the article.
Stargardt Treatment Now, Part 2: Where Oh Where Is the Research? Click Here to see the article.
Stargardt Treatment Now, Part 3: Learn About the Dynamic Treatment. Click Here to see the article.
Stargardt is considered an autosomal recessive condition, with the genetic abnormality generally caused by an abnormality in a gene that codes for an ATP binding casette transporter (ABCR). (The newer designation for the molecule that this gene codes for is ABCA4.)
Not everyone with Stargardt disease has an ABCR abnormality. They have a genetic defect, but on a number of different genes.
There are a significant number of people with abnormalities on the ABCR gene were not showing evidence of either an eye disease. Your genes are not your destiny. (Please see the post on Epigenetics.)
Finally, two people can have the same defect on the ABCR gene, but one will express eye disease that looks like Stargardt, and the other will have an eye disease that looks like macular degeneration, or retinitis pigmentosa. (Please see the article on ophthalmologist divide, genetics unite.) Unfortunately, very little in the relationship between genetic defects and the predisposition to disease is clear-cut.
General Information About Stargardt Disease
Stargardt disease is an inherited condition that causes central vision loss.
It impacts males and females in equal numbers, with approximately one in 10,000 people inheriting the disease. It is easiest to think of it as a juvenile form of macular degeneration and is one of several diseases that cause blindness. Usually diagnosed in childhood, specifically between the ages of six and twelve, it can also become apparent for the first time in young adults. When diagnosed in middle age, it can be hard to determine if it is a late appearance of Stargardt, or an early appearance of age-related macular degeneration.
Vitamin A consumption is ordinarily helpful for the health of the eye. The human body does not produce vitamin A, and even people with Stargardt need adequate vitamin A. But people with Stargardt disease can experience a toxic build-up of Vitamin A in the retina if they take too much, or use the wrong type of vitamin A. This can cause progressive damage. We have years of experience with Stargardt disease, and have seen many people regain vision. We are confident with the type and dosing of vitamin A that we use.
Stargardt Disease Treatment
While there is no definitive cure for Stargardt disease, there are some effective means of treatment, which include:
Wearing sunglasses or eyeglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays when in bright sun is thought to help, as it reduces the likelihood of additional damage from the build-up of lipofuscin.
Syntonic Light Therapy applies specific light frequencies through the eyes. These light frequencies stimulate the functioning of the retina and aid in detoxification.
Microcurrent Stimulation is a painless procedure that has proven effective for people with Stargardt.
Consuming sufficient vitamins and nutrients may also be an effective Stargardt disease treatment for some patients. A prescribed regimen of heart-healthy oils and Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to offer benefits to people diagnosed with juvenile macular degeneration.
If you've been diagnosed with Stargardt disease or any other disease causing blindness, be sure to request our report, "The TRUTH Your Eye Doctor Isn't Telling You." We've provided a wealth of information about ways to tackle this challenge to your vision.