Apoptosis is a genetically programmed mechanism of cell death in which the cell activates a specific set of instructions that lead to the deconstruction of the cell from within. Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) represents a group of hereditary retinal degenerations principally characterized by progressive rod-dominant photoreceptor degeneration in the initial stage and eventual cone photoreceptor degeneration in later stages. RP has been known to be initiated by photoreceptor apoptosis as a final common pathway at the cellular level, irrespective of gene mutations, and apoptosis can thus be considered as a therapeutic target. The goal of this review is to discuss the rationale behind the recent suggestions that calcium channel blockers may be useful in the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) was searched using the terms “Calcium channel blockers in retinitis pigmentosa”. It is time to conduct a randomized controlled trial to provide direct evidence of the effectiveness of specific type calcium channel blockers in lowering progression of RP. New intervention as calcium channel blockers usage to prevent retinitis pigmentosa progression remains an important strategy to limit the morbidity of this significant health problem.
Key words: Apoptosis, retinitis pigmentosa, photoreceptors degeneration, calcium channel blockers, therapeutic effect.
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