Basal laminar drusen is a condition that causes small nodules to grow in the macula of the eye (a portion of the back of the eye) which can affect the ability to see fine objects. These nodules are made up of drusen (a waste product) and appear as small, yellow, round spots. They usually first appear in early adulthood, but can appear later on as well. This condition is a subtype of a broader disease, age-related macular degeneration.
Basal laminar drusen is a genetic condition caused by mutations (changes) in the CFH gene. We inherit our genes in pairs, one from each parent typically. Basal laminar drusen is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Autosomal dominant means an individual only needs one copy of the changed gene or mutation that causes the condition. If one parent is a carrier for the mutated gene, children have a 50% chance of having the condition. Basal laminar drusen has also been linked to smoking cigarettes.
Doctors can diagnose basal laminar drusen through a thorough clinical exam, specifically using non-invasive imaging methods to look at different parts of the eye for drusen deposits. Once individuals are diagnosed with this condition, they should be monitored for other eye problems which may lead to further vision difficulties. Vision loss may be treated in some cases depending on what type of eye problem exists. Currently, there is no specific treatment for basal laminar drusen.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with this condition, talk with your doctor about the most current treatment options. Support groups are also good resources of support and information.
Description Last Updated: Aug 29, 2018