Treatments for RP in general

Worldwide there are various treatments suggested by the medical world but none scientifically proves any solid results. The general idea amongst ophthalmologists is that there is no cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa. Proposed treatments go from a vitamin based medication to avoiding strong day light, to ozone or electro-stimulation. The truth is that some treatments do actually have certain effects. They tend to slow down the progress of the disease. But there is no real over all treatment for patients. All these treatments are a strain on the patients already hard every day life and in the end bring no solution.

Orfilio PelaezSince the early 50ies the Cuban Doctor Orfilio Pelaez Molina dedicated a life time of medical research to the disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. As a young doctor he was angered when a good friend of his was diagnosed with RP and the local doctor simply said there was nothing he could do: his friend would become gradually blind.

Together with a team of colleague doctors he started to assist RP patients in Cuba during the progress of their disease. All the existing treatments of the time were tried out. A lot of attention went to the psychological aspects of the disease for the patients and their environment. Parallel to the care for the patient, extensive scientific research was performed. All data about the patients were meticulously registered. New treatment methods were tried out on animals in laboratories. The team had a national mission with support on the highest level of the Cuban Ministry of Public Health. This made it possible to gather a high number of patients records, and to do research at the best centres in the country.

Thanks to these decades of care for the Cuban RP patients and the research performed around them Dr Pelaez team started in the 80ies their unique treatment for RP.

First of all we need to explain that the treatment of Dr Pelaez is a combination of a number of treatments. Some parts of the treatments are also recommended by many ophthalmologists world wide. The uniqueness of the treatment is that it is an integral approach of the patient. Unique is also the positive results of the treatment. Many analyses have been done during the years and all statistics point out to a halt in the progress of the visual loss during and after the treatment in a significative majority of the patients. Better results are obtained when treatment is applied in the early stages of the disease when patients are still young of age. There is also a statistically small number of patients that indicated an improvement of the visual field after the treatment.

What is the basis of the treatment? Dr Pelaez considered that the circulation of the ocular tissues through the coriocapillary layer should improve the metabolism of these tissues. On this correct concept the whole treatment is based. The idea is to revitalize the photoreceptors of the eye as far as they are still active. This way the progress of the vision loss is slowed down or stopped.

The method of Revitalization

There are several ways to obtain this revitalization and the combination of all these methods forms the succes of the treatment:

Revitalizing Surgery
The first part of the treatment consists in an operation on both eyes. The surgeons implant fat blood tissues in the upper choroid (a layer around the retina). This will improve the functioning of the photo-receptors of the retina that are still active.
This is a routine operation in the Camilo Cienfuegos Clinic. Patients feel side effects of the operation for a period of maximum 3 days.

Ozone Therapy
The intensity and quantity of ozone administrations is strictly regulated and based on the analysis of each patients physical condition in general and on his or her visual capacities in particular. It is administered either by rectal medication (suppositories) or by injecting it in the veins. An ozone treatment takes around 15 days and needs to be repeated annually once or twice.

Electro-stimulation
To stimulate the electro-ionic balance of the blood circulation in the eye. At the end of the patients stay the doctor explains how to continue with this treatment at home.

Medication
To stimulate the other treatments and to counter certain negative effects of them. Medication is sold in the pharmacy of the C. Cienfuegos Centre.

Other
The best an RP patient can do is live healthy. Don't smoke as this has negative effects on the blood veins. Perform some phyiscal activity like sports or recreational activities. Eat fruits, vegetables and avoid fat. And also try to protect your eyes against heavy sunlight buy wearing sun glasses.