Stargardt’s is a non age-related form of Macular Degeneration. It can start at almost any time of a person’s life and the progression, outcomes and solutions are similar in nature to those of the age-related form of the condition. Patients with Stargardt’s experience a gradual deterioration of the retina’s cone receptor cells. Cones are concentrated in the macula, and are responsible for central vision and color.
This disease is usually an inherited, autosomal recessive disorder. In order to pass Stargardt’s to their children, both parents must carry the recessive gene for the disease. If both patients are carriers, each of their children has a 25% chance of developing the disease.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Stargardt’s. Some patients may require laser treatment to seal leaking blood vessels in the retina. Laser treatment is performed to reduce lost vision from leaking vessels; however, it cannot restore vision or halt the progression of the disease.