Document Type

Honors Thesis




Leonard Kass

Committee Members

Lynn Atkins, Mark Haggerty, Natalie Machamer, Ek Han Tan

Graduation Year

May 2021

Publication Date

Spring 5-2021


Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a group of hereditary genetic disorders, all causing degradation of the retina through loss of rod photoreceptor cells, ultimately causing loss of vision and in many cases complete blindness. Despite the prevalence o fRetinitis Pigmentosa disorders, safe and effective treatment methods have not yet been approved to stop or regain vision loss in patients diagnosed with RP. However, the ophthalmic field as a whole is working on several new technologies and procedures in order to both slow loss of vision as well as potentially regain lost sight. In this thesis, I describe the genetic causes and effects of retinitis pigmentosa, followed by an analysis of current experimental treatments. Possible treatments were screened based on the following criteria; potential release date, adverse effects, ability to treat children, convenience, and the exclusion of patients for each therapy. Finally, I lend to support my claim that stem cell therapy by mesenchymal stem cells through intravenous infusion appears to be the most effective and safest method of experimental treatments available today.

Included in

Ophthalmology Commons