Inherited Retinal Diseases

Degenerative retinal diseases affect millions of people worldwide, causing loss of vision in adults and children alike.  The many diseases within this group are caused by any of thousands of known genetic mistakes in approximately 200 genes.  These genetic mistakes and therefore the diseases they cause, are inherited.  An individual may inherit such a genetic mistake from a parent, and pass it down to their own children, completely unaware of this silent problem until a family member, be it adult or child, is diagnosed with a sight stealing disease.  The roller coaster begins. Based on current statistics, the most likely diagnosis would be 1) Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), the leading cause of youth blindness in Australia, 2) Macular Dystrophy (MD), which affects central vision critical in daily life, or 3) the age related form of MD, Macular Degeneration (AMD) which requires both a genetic predisposition and an environmental cue before disease onset later in adult life.

The charity was formed in 1978 as the “WA Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation Inc” by Dr Arnold Cook and has been committed since then to raise funds for research into Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and other inherited retinal diseases. Over the ensuing years in excess of $2.5 million has been raised for research.  The charity has over 700 supporting members in WA, with one in every eighty families being affected by this disease.

History of this Charity

To read the full history of this charity, click here

Retina International Congress 2014 Summary

To read the full report of the congress, click here