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» What is Stargardt disease?

What is Stargardt disease?

A rare, genetic condition, Stargardt disease affects one in 20,000 people. An incapacitating disease, it causes a progressive alteration in central vision, sometimes before the age of 20, resulting in vision difficulties in both eyes.



The most common inherited macular dystrophy


Named after the first ophthalmologist to have described the condition in 1909, Karl Stargardt, Stargardt disease is an inherited disorder that’s also called maculopathy, since it is linked to the degeneration of the macula, the central region of the retina.


Considered the most common inherited macular dystrophy, Stargardt syndrome causes retinal lesions and irreversible vision problems that get worse over time.


There are several forms of the disease, which differ according to the mutations present in the variant gene, the ABCA4.


  • Edematous form: the most common form, can be subjected to treatments
  • Ischemic form: rarer, this form is incurable


Symptoms from a very young age


Initial symptoms develop before the age of twenty, in children. These symptoms are variable, which sometimes makes diagnosis by a professional difficult, as it requires a dilated fundus examination, an angiography, a color vision test, an electroretinogram or a fundus autofluorescence.


  • Black spots
  • Blurred vision
  • Altered color perception
  • Sensitivity to bright lights or glare
  • Progressive loss of ability to recognize faces


What solutions are there for treating Stargardt disease?


There is currently no existing treatment to cure Stargardt disease. Treatments and other everyday precautionary measures can, however, help to limit the disease and facilitate daily life.


Light Vision notably kits out eligible patients with electronic glasses that facilitate the perception of details and help them to avoid excess fatigue.