Stargardt disease

Stargardt disease is a form of juvenile macular dystrophy and is a rare inherited condition causing loss of central vision.

What is Stargardt disease?

Stargardt disease is a rare inherited condition affecting one in 8,000 to 10,000 people. In Stargardt’s the light-sensitive layer of cells in the macular region of the eye degenerate. The macular is the area at the back of the eye which is responsible for the fine detailed vision necessary for activities such as watching TV and reading.

What are the symptoms of Stargardt disease?

Symptoms of the condition typically develop before the age of 20 and include:

  • A loss of detailed vision and colour perception
  • Wavy vision
  • Blind spots
  • Blurriness
  • Difficulty adapting to low light levels

 Whilst people with Stargardt’s do not lose their peripheral (side) vision, many people will reach the point of severe vision loss.

What causes Stargardt disease?

The most common cause of the condition is genetic. There are three genes which have been associated with Stargardt’s: ELOVL4, PROM1 and ABCA4.

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