Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you get to know more about RDD and how participating in this campaign can help us find the cure.
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Retinal degenerative diseases are a group of inherited diseases including Retinitis Pigmentosa, Macular Degeneration, Usher Syndrome and Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). These diseases are caused by genetic mutations which are inherited from one or both parents. People who have these gene mutations have impaired or no vision because the photoreceptor cells in the eye aren’t working properly or in the most serious cases, aren’t working at all. More information on the types of retinal degenerative diseases can be found at http://blindness.org/retinal-diseases.
While a lot more research needs to be done (that’s the reason for the #HowEyeSeeIt campaign), many exciting advances in treatments for vision loss due to an RDD have been made or are on the horizon.
The most exciting of which is the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System – also known as the bionic retina. The Argus II is a retinal implant. Through electronic stimulation of the retina it helps induce visual perception in people with retinitis pigmentosa.
Additional promising lines of research use gene and stem cell therapies to restore or replace non-functioning vision cells. These emerging treatments hold great potential to restore sight if we can continue to drive them from the research lab to clinical trials and then, to the people who need them!
The Foundation Fighting Blindness website is a good place to start: http://www.blindness.org There you will find information on the most recent research breakthroughs, FFB funded research, genetic testing, clinical trials and how to become more involved with the Foundation Fighting Blindness in your community.
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is the world’s largest private funder of research to treat and cure blindness caused by inherited retinal degenerative disease. When the Foundation was established in 1971 very little was known about the retina and what went wrong when people lost their sight due to retinal degenerative disease. Since that time, the Foundation has nearly fully reversed that situation. Today there are 20 clinical trials underway to test the safety and effectiveness of possible new treatments. We are literally on the doorstep of finding cures for retinal degenerative disease but need your help to reach that final goal. That’s what the #HowEyeSeeIt campaign is all about and you can join us!
In excess of 10 million Americans, and millions more worldwide, have vision loss due to retinal degeneration. Through its support of focused and innovative science, the Foundation drives the research that will enhance the lives of people affected by retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and other inherited retinal degenerative diseases. You can take an active role through your participation in the #HowEyeSeeIt campaign!
We want to hear from you! Participation is easy. You can help deliver campaign messages by sharing a campaign Facebook post with your friends and family and why you’re choosing to support finding a cure for RDD. If you’re part of the RDD community, we’d love for you to share your story and how you see the world. You can create your own #HowEyeSeeIt video and post it to your social media channels. And finally, make a donation to the campaign. You can make a secure donation on the campaign website here.
The Foundation is fully committed to directing the highest possible proportion of its fundraising and other revenue to research. During the Foundation’s 2016 fiscal year, approximately 77 percent of its budget was devoted to retinal research and health education programs. Historically, the portion of the budget devoted to research and health education programs has averaged 75% of the Foundation’s overall spending.
Throughout its 45-year history, the Foundation has funded major research studies that have driven significant advancements in treatments for retinal degenerative disease. Foundation funded research helped to create the sight-restoring bionic retina and helped create and advance gene and stem-cell therapies which hold the promise of restoring vision in people who today cannot see.