The Educational Travails of a Visually-Impaired 25 Year-Old Nigerian University Student with Stargardt's Disease
Stargardt’s disease is probably under-diagnosed in sub-Saharan Africa as its subtle macular changes in the earlier stages of the disease are often out of proportion to the bilateral gradual impairment of central vision. In addition, the paucity of well-equipped eye clinics manned by trained retinal sub-specialists makes the detection of the disease a rare event. We present a patient in whom we made a diagnosis of Stargardt’s disease on clinical grounds in Nigeria and who subsequently had corroboratory fundus angiographic and electro diagnostic tests in the United Kingdom. The patient, who was already severely visually incapacitated in his mid-twenties, had to abandon medical studies for a perceived less visually demanding one. His hope for a restoration of his eyesight now rests on the promising advances being made in gene and stem cell therapy.