Assessing Mobility Vision and Retinitis Pigmentosa
Scientists in the Rose-Silverthorne Retinal Degeneration Lab at the Retina Foundation recently began a new clinical trial utilizing a mobility course. The course is designed to assess mobility and functional vision in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), an inherited eye disease characterized by gradual vision loss of peripheral and night vision.
This mobility course, created by Ora, Inc., is constructed by laying down foam tiles in various configurations. The trial participants must avoid foam obstacles as they follow the path from beginning to end. Staring out in dim lighting, technicians record the time that it takes to traverse the course as well as the number of errors made. Using a different course configuration each time, the lighting is gradually increased, potentially making it easier for patients with night blinding retinal degenerations to navigate the course.
The results of the mobility course include a real-world measurement of a patient’s visual functioning and will also supplement visual acuity, visual field, microperimetry, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and more types of field evaluations. Currently, our study has four participants, with an expected 12 in total. The study is expected to be completed in 2023. Along with the Retina Foundation in Dallas, TX, the following institutions are also participating: University of Florida in Jacksonville, FL; Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, MA; Cincinnati Eye Institute in Cincinnati, OH; The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH; The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN; and Casey Eye Institute in Portland, OR.