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Macular Degeneration International (MDI) began itís original mission in 1991 to provide support and information to persons and families affected with Stargardtís and other forms of juvenile Macular Degeneration. Up to that point it had been difficult for families to find this information because these juvenile macular dystrophies are fairly rare (estimates of between 30,000 and 50,000 total persons in the U.S.). MDI has expanded its help to those around the world with these dystrophies, and now include those with age-related macular degeneration by providing help to thousands of families through itís programs, journals and conferences.

There are several forms of Macular Degeneration that affect children, teenagers or adults that are known as early onset or juvenile Macular Degeneration. Many of these forms are hereditary and are more accurately called macular dystrophies, instead of degenerations. Degenerations are a more accurate descriptions for the diseases of age related Macular Degeneration, more common in older persons.

These macular dystrophies all have different genetic patterns or ways of inheritance. Some may be passed on in a dominant pattern, others as a recessive pattern and still others as an x-linked trait carried by females and affecting males only. For many with recessive inheritance patterns, it comes often as a surprise because a family might never have known anyone in their family history who was affected. For those of a dominant pattern, it may be quite different as some persons of generation after generation are affected.

Now, letís investigate more as to the different specific types of early onset forms of macular dystrophies ...

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For more information on Macular Degeneration,
visit The Foundation Fighting Blindness at www.blindnesss.org
or e-mail us at MDInfo@blindness.org.

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