The progressive vision loss associated with Stargardt disease is caused by the death of specialized, light-sensitive photoreceptor cells in the central portion of the retina called the macula. The retina is the layer of tissue lining the back of the eye, and the macula is the part of the retina that is responsible for your central vision, allowing you to see fine details clearly.

Who Is At Risk for Stargardt disease?

Stargardt disease is almost always the result of a genetic defect. The gene that causes the disease is recessive, meaning it has to be inherited by both parents in order for the disease to appear. Someone who inherits the gene from only one parent will be a carrier for Stargardt disease but will not have any symptoms of it. However, if that person has a child with someone else who is a carrier, there is a 25 percent chance the child will have Stargardt disease.

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