RP Diognosis Streamlined with New Test

Research led by physician-scientists at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has produced a breakthrough discovery in diagnosing retinitis pigmentosa, a blinding disease that affects about 1 in 4,000 people in the United States.
Rong Wen, M.D., Ph.D., and Byron Lam, M.D., professors of ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer, in collaboration with biochemist Ziqiang Guan, Ph.D., a research associate professor at Duke University Medical School, discovered a key marker in blood and urine that can identify people who carry genetic mutations in a gene responsible for retinitis pigmentosa (RP). “A simple urine test can tell who has the RP-causing mutations,” said Dr. Wen. “Collecting urine is non-invasive and easy, especially from young children.”

Blind Man’s Best Friend

For thousands of years man has used animals in many ways to assist with daily chores. From horses pulling carriages to pigeons carrying letters, animals have aided man in various ways. None more helpful, perhaps, than the way seeing eye dogs assist the blind.  People have been using seeing eye dogs as visual aids since the mid-16th century and they have only gotten more popular since.

People choose to use guide dogs for several reasons. One of them being that it’s much easier for a visually impaired person to move around in rough conditions because your dog can clear a pathway for you.  Your dog will detect obstacles sooner than a cane would and the dog will take you around those obstacles that you could possibly run into otherwise.  They can also be trained to find things for you such as a bus stop, soda machine, mailbox or anything else you would find necessary.  Guide dogs quickly learn the routes you take most often; making you feel safer and more confident when walking around on your daily routines.

Making the decision to get a seeing eye dog is a big one and there are lots of things to consider.

In my own opinion, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

Want to help the blind?

I had previously blogged about how you can help find a cure for blindess by joining the Vision Walk, organized by http://www.FightingBlindness.org. I’ve decided to dig a little further and I’ve come up with quite a bit of useful resources. See below for details!


Sight Savers


Sightsavers works to both cure people who have reversible eye conditions and prevent people from becoming needlessly blind.

If you are interested in volenteering your time and helping by speaking, email khowes@sightsavers.org or call us at (919) 710-8052.

You can also make a donation, please mail your check or money order payable to:

Sightsavers International, Inc.

P.O. Box 942

Ayer, MA 01432


National Federation of the Blind