25. January 2018

First special consultation for patients with retinal diseases

The Eye Clinic of the University Hospital of Basel and the patient organization Retina Suisse are joining efforts. Together, they are now offering a special consultation for patients with retinal diseases – a first of its kind in German-speaking Switzerland. Another novelty for the German-speaking region in Switzerland is that the Eye Clinic of the University Hospital of Basel is offering transcorneal electrical stimulation as a new treatment option for inherited retinal diseases.

 

The patient organization Retina Suisse has launched a new consultation service together with the Eye Clinic of the University Hospital of Basel (USB). Once a month, a special consultation is offered free of charge in the offices of the Eye Clinic to patients with retinal diseases. “With these consultations, we want to make it easier for those affected to gain early access to special services for the visually impaired,” says Stephan Hüsler, Director of Retina Suisse.

The special consultation provides patients with an opportunity, for example, to ask questions about their disease after being newly diagnosed. They receive information about the possible causes, the likely course of the disease, and the various treatment options. In addition, they are informed about social security benefits and are put in touch with other patients, if needed.

First microstimulation therapy in the German-speaking Switzerland

The USB Eye Clinic has extended its array of treatments for inherited retinal diseases. It is the first clinic in German-speaking Switzerland to offer transcorneal electrical stimulation. This microstimulation therapy is applied externally to the eye and, after medical instruction, can be performed independently at home. The therapy provides an opportunity to slow down development of the disease. To date, the only place that offered this therapy in Switzerland was Lausanne. “With the introduction of this new treatment in Basel we can offer our patients care closer to home and overcome any language-related barriers,” says Prof. Hendrik Scholl, Chief Physician and General Manager of the USB Eye Clinic.

Transcorneal electrical stimulation is one of the first outpatient therapy options for inherited retinal diseases (retinitis pigmentosa). The efficacy of the therapy has been substantiated in clinical trials demonstrating that activation of neuroprotective growth factors in the retina has a cell preservation effect on the dying retinal cells, so the function of cells that are still present is extended. Cell preservation can be quantified by an electroretinogram that measures the electrical activity of cells in response to a light stimulus. Based on currently available studies, transcorneal electrical stimulation is classified as safe by medical expert committees and the Retina Suisse and Pro Retina Deutschland patient organizations.

Patients or those interested in microstimuation therapy and the special consultations of Retina Suisse can make an appointment right away by contacting patient services at the USB Eye Clinic. Telephone: +41 61 265 87 87, e-mail: augenklinik@usb.ch