X-Linked Retinoschisis (XLRS)
X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) is an inherited retinal disease causing vision loss due to splitting of the layers of the retina.
What is X-Linked Retinoschisis?
X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) is an inherited disease that causes loss of central and peripheral vision due to degeneration of the retina. The retina is a thin piece of tissue lining the back of the eye. Rod and cone photoreceptors in the retina convert light into electrical signals that the brain interprets as vision. About 35,000 people in the United States and Europe have the condition.
XLRS leads to vision loss due to the splitting of retinal layers, which leads to degeneration of photoreceptors. It is caused by mutations in the RS1 gene. The RS1 protein act likes an adhesive to hold the retinal layers together.
As an X-linked disease, XLRS occurs primarily in males. The condition is typically diagnosed in childhood. One of the first signs of XLRS is loss of visual acuity that is not correctable. Vision loss is often progressive leading to legal blindness.
Cystic macular lesions (like blisters) in the retina are the hallmark feature of XLRS. While these lesions can increase retinal thickness thereby exacerbating vision loss, they can be treated with medications including oral or topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitors.
The most common gene associated with X-linked retinoschisis is RS1.
As an X-linked disease, the mutated gene, RS1, is located on the X chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes and can carry the disease gene on one of their X chromosomes. Because they have a healthy version of the gene on their other X chromosome, carrier females are less frequently affected by X-linked diseases. Males have only one X chromosome (paired with one Y chromosome) and are therefore genetically susceptible to X-linked diseases. Males with X-linked diseases pass their Y chromosome to their sons, and therefore will never pass an X-linked disease to their sons. Female carriers have a 50 percent chance (or 1 chance in 2) of passing the X-linked disease gene to their daughters, who become carriers, and a 50 percent chance of passing the gene to their sons, who are then affected by the disease.
Female carriers have a 50 percent chance (or 1 chance in 2) of passing the X-linked disease gene to their daughters, who become carriers, and a 50 percent chance of passing the gene to their sons, who are then affected by the disease.
Genetic counselors are excellent resources for discussing inheritability, family planning, genetic testing, and other related issues.
Living with the Disease
There are many services and accommodative and assistive resources available to people and families with X-linked retinoschisis. Visit the Foundation’s Low Vision Resources page to learn about many of these resources. A low vision specialist can help recommend the resources that are right for you.
More information on living with XLRS is in the Newly Diagnosed section of this Web site.
Genetic testing is available for XLRS. It helps with attaining an accurate diagnosis and assessing the risk of passing the disorder from parent to offspring. A patient with an accurate diagnosis is in a better position to understand which emerging treatment approaches and clinical trials are most appropriate for them.
View a list of current clinical trials, many made possible by Foundation support
XLRS page at www.ClinicalTrials.gov.
Read the Most Recent Research on X-Linked Retinoschisis (XLRS)
Mar 31, 2020
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and its impact on the IRD community.
Feb 6, 2020
Foundation Insights Forum – January 31, 2020
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is pleased to provide an audio recording and full transcripts of the Insights Forum, our quarterly conference call providing updates to the inherited retinal disease community. The call took place on January 31, 2020.
Feb 6, 2020
ProQR Therapeutics Teams Up with the Foundation Fighting Blindness and Blueprint Genetics to Support the My Retina Tracker® Program for People Living with Inherited Retinal Diseases
My Retina Tracker Program is the highest volume IRD genetic testing program in the U.S.
Nov 8, 2019
Foundation Insights Forum – October 30, 2019
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is pleased to provide an audio recording and full transcript of the Insights Forum, our quarterly conference call providing updates to the inherited retinal disease community. The call took place on October 30, 2019.
Oct 2, 2019
Blueprint Genetics, InformedDNA and the Foundation Fighting Blindness launch an open access program for patients with inherited retinal disease in the United States
The program will offer patients with inherited retinal disease no-cost genetic testing and genetic counseling in the United States. Look for updated information on how to participate to be posted in mid-October, with program registration starting shortly thereafter.
Aug 16, 2019
Foundation Fighting Blindness Investing Nearly $6.5 Million in New Grants
The newly funded research efforts include several therapies that have strong potential to treat a wide range of inherited retinal diseases.
May 9, 2019
Foundation Fighting Blindness Endorses 'Eye Bonds' Legislation
Bipartisan Bill Will Stimulate Up to $1 Billion in New Funding for Blindness Research
Jul 19, 2018
Foundation Fighting Blindness Urges Congress to Pass ‘Eye-Bonds’ Legislation
Bill Introduced in U.S. House Would Speed Up Cures for Blindness
Jun 8, 2018
Foundation Fighting Blindness and CheckedUp® Partner to Educate Retinal-Disease Patients About Research, Resources, and Emerging Therapies During Doctor Visits
The Foundation Fighting Blindness (the Foundation) and CheckedUp have formed a collaborative partnership to deliver patient-friendly diagnostic and disease-management information to people with retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and Stargardt disease during their visits to eye doctors.
May 2, 2023
Atsena Receives FDA Authorization to Launch a Gene Therapy Clinical Trial for XLRS
Known as The Lighthouse Study, the Phase ½ trial is expected to begin in mid-2023
Oct 18, 2021
Atsena Therapeutics Developing X-Linked Retinoschisis Gene Therapy
The emerging gene therapy is being designed to more safely reach the fovea
Jul 17, 2020
MeiraGTx and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Report Promising Interim Results from its Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial for XLRP Gene Therapy
A Phase 3 trial for the treatment is planned
Feb 7, 2020
Genetic Testing for Inherited Retinal Diseases through the Foundation’s Open Access Program
The benefits of genetic testing for IRD patients, how to participate in the Foundation’s Open Access program, and what to expect from the genetic testing process.
Jun 17, 2019
The Retina is a Proving Ground for a Broad Range of Neurological Therapies
Retinal research paves the way for new treatments for the entire neurological system.
May 20, 2019
Dr. Don Zack Honored for Research Contributions by ARVO and the Foundation Fighting Blindness
Dr. Zack is a member of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board and chairs its Cellular Molecular Mechanisms of Disease study section.
May 9, 2019
Eye Bonds Re-Introduced to New Congress: Potentially $1 Billion in Government-Backed Funding for Eye Research
Eye Bonds provide the opportunity to advance, and accelerate development for, more promising treatments into and through clinical trials and out to the people who need them.
Jan 29, 2019
The Foundation Receives a $100,000 Research Grant from Sofia Sees Hope
Sofia Sees Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to finding treatments and cures for people with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) and other inherited retinal diseases (IRDs), has made a $100,000 donation to the Foundation Fighting Blindness to support therapy development and genetic testing.
Jan 17, 2019
Pixium's PRIMA Bionic Vision System Restores Central Vision in Dry AMD Clinical Trial
The French bioelectronics company Pixium Vision has reported that its PRIMA bionic vision system has restored some central vision in patients with advanced dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) participating in a clinical feasibility trial.
Nov 2, 2018
Foundation Invests $2.5 Million in Search for Elusive Retinal Disease Genes and Mutations
Since 1989 genetic researchers, many funded by the Foundation, have identified approximately 270 genes linked to IRDs. In most cases, defects in a single gene can cause a retinal disease and vision loss.
Sep 11, 2018
FFB Congratulates RPE65 Gene Therapy Researchers for Champalimaud Award
On September 4, 2018, seven researchers, including six previously funded by the Foundation, were recognized with the prestigious 2018 Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award for their contributions to the advancement of blindness-reversing RPE65 gene therapies.
Aug 15, 2018
FFB Provides Four Career Development Awards to Up-and-Coming Clinical Researchers
Each recipient will receive a total of $375,000 over five years to help build an independent research program in addition to their clinical practices.
Aug 6, 2018
FFB Funding More than $2 Million in New Research
Seventy scientists submitted requests for funding.
Jul 20, 2018
Call to Action: Ask Congress to Support $1 Billion in Eye Research
Call to Action: Ask Congress to Support $1 Billion in Eye Research
Jul 5, 2018
Retinal Regeneration: Releasing Your Inner Salamander
Many research groups from around the world are investigating ways to create new photoreceptors from stem cells for transplantation into the retina for vision restoration.
Jun 22, 2018
VISIONS2018 Live Stream
Watch recorded sessions from VISIONS2018.
May 3, 2018
ARVO 2018: Dr. Stephen Daiger Reports on the State of Genetic Testing for Inherited Retinal Diseases
ARVO 2018: Dr. Stephen Daiger Reports on the State of Genetic Testing for Inherited Retinal Diseases
May 2, 2018
ARVO 2018: Dr. Steve Rose Reports on CRISPR/Cas9 for Inherited Retinal Diseases
FFB’s own Dr. Steve Rose, chief scientific officer, reviews our commitment to funding and exploring CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing for inherited retinal disease.
Apr 25, 2018
ARVO 2018: World's Largest Show and Tell for Innovations in Eye Research
More than 11,000 eye researchers from around the world — including five intrepid members from FFB’s science team — will gather to participate in what is essentially a massive “show and tell” of the latest scientific advancements.
Jan 17, 2018
Clinical Trial to Launch for System Combining Optogenetics and Eyewear
The French biotech GenSight Biologics has received regulatory authorization in the UK to launch the PIONEER Phase 1 \ 2 clinical trial for its GS030 system — a light-sensing gene therapy (optogenetics) coupled with eyewear, which enhances visual stimulation.
Jan 9, 2018
Top Retinal Research Advances for 2017
An exciting year in fighting blindness.
Dec 20, 2017
History Is Made: FDA Approves Spark's Vision-Restoring Gene Therapy
Known as LUXTURNA™ (voretigene neparvovec), the gene therapy restored vision in a clinical trial for people between the ages of 4 and 44 with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) caused by mutations in the gene RPE65.
Nov 21, 2017
Stem-Cell Therapy Clinics Remain Inadequately Regulated, Pose Risk to Patients
If a clinic is charging for a stem-cell treatment or procedure for an IRD, it is probably not legit. The expense to the patient is a major red flag.
Oct 13, 2017
FDA Committee Unanimously Recommends Approval for Spark's RPE65 Gene Therapy - Final Decision Due in January 2018
An advisory committee comprised of FDA-selected experts voted unanimously – 16 to 0 – to recommend approval.
Sep 27, 2017
The Foundation's Investments Are Filling the Pipeline for Vision-Saving Therapies
In addition to funding promising biotech start-ups, the Foundation Fighting Blindness has played a critical role in developing research talent.
Jul 26, 2017
Scientists Receive $25 Million to Develop a Vision-Restoring System that Connects to the Brain
The high-tech, vision-restoring system interfaces with the visual cortex, the back of the brain where visual input is processed to create the images we see.
Jul 25, 2017
Foundation Fighting Blindness and 4D Molecular Therapeutics Partner to Boost Retinal Gene Therapy Development
The partnership will help companies and researchers quickly obtain and implement high-quality vectors for their retinal gene-therapy development efforts.
Jul 24, 2017
FFB-Funded Scientists Report on Nine Promising Translational Research Efforts
The Foundation Fighting Blindness has taken the translational challenge head on by investing more than $75 million in therapy-development projects with strong clinical-trial potential through its Translational Research Acceleration Program (TRAP), which includes Gund-Harrington Scholar Awards.
Jul 19, 2017
Twelve People Receive XLRS Gene Therapy in AGTC's Clinical Trial
AGTC’s gene therapy uses a human-engineered virus — and adeno-associated virus or AAV — to deliver normal copies of retinoschisin to the patient’s retina.
May 23, 2017
Forty-Four High-Impact Retinal-Research Efforts Highlighted at FFB-Casey Innovation Summit
In its fourth year, the meeting is becoming the world’s most comprehensive overview of the promising research underway for emerging IRD treatments.
May 8, 2017
FFB Funding Helps Retinal Genetics Lab Secure $2 Million Investment
How the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) provided timely funding of $155,000 to help a lab at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), leverage a $2 million retinal-gene discovery project.
Mar 22, 2017
Dr. Eliot Berson, Pioneer in Vitamin A Therapy for Retinitis Pigmentosa, Passes Away
Dr. Berson dedicated himself to clinical care and vision-saving research for people with inherited retinal diseases for five decades.
Mar 16, 2017
Unregulated Stem-Cell Therapy Causes Severe Vision Loss for Three Florida Women
“…participation in a study for an emerging therapy that is not regulated by the FDA or another well-recognized regulatory agency like the European Medicines Agency in Europe, is fraught with dangers and can lead to unexpected serious consequences.”
Feb 17, 2017
AGTC Leverages Funding from the Foundation to Move Promising Treatments into Clinical Trials
Company Builds on FFB’s Initial Investment to Garner $265 Million in Therapy Development Funding
Dec 21, 2016
FFB-CRI Leads Effort to Identify Outcome Measures for Therapies in Clinical Trials
Improved outcome measures will make clinical trials for degenerative retinal diseases — including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the world’s leading cause of blindness in seniors, and inherited retinal conditions such as RP and Stargardt disease — less expensive to conduct and able to deliver more precise results.
Oct 18, 2016
Building a Wiring Diagram for the Retina to Help Researchers Save and Restore Vision
Understanding the pathways of the retinal neural network — and how they are rewired with aging and disease — is helpful in trying to save and restore vision.
Oct 11, 2016
Nobel-Prize-Winning Stem-Cell Researcher Delivers Keynote at FFB-Funded Conference in Kyoto
Dr. Shinya Yamanka discussed his early clinical trial for iPSC-derived retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells for a 78-year-old woman with advanced wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Oct 6, 2016
Embrace Your Exceptions: A Mantra for Understanding Retinal-Disease Inheritance
The complex and elusive nature of these conditions can also extend to the way they are passed down in families, making diagnosis and prognosis quite challenging.
Aug 18, 2016
Optogenetic Therapy Takes First Step Forward in Clinical Trial
RetroSense’s optogenetic therapy is designed to restore vision to people who are completely blind from retinal degenerative diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa by bestowing light sensitivity to retinal ganglion cells, which survive after photoreceptors, the cells that make vision possible, are lost.
Aug 2, 2016
Pixium Vision Reports Progress in Development of Two Advanced Bionic Retina Systems
Both approaches show strong, near-term potential for providing meaningful vision to people who are otherwise blind from retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Jul 1, 2016
VISIONS 2016 - Dr. Richard Weleber Receives FFB's Highest Research Honor, Recognized in Touching Video
Dr. Weleber became the 10th recipient of the Foundation’s highest honor, named after FFB co-founder Lulie Gund, during the opening lunch of the VISIONS 2016 conference.
Jul 1, 2016
VISIONS 2016 — Dr. Shomi Bhattacharya Wins FFB Award for Gaining an Understanding of Variations in Vision Loss
At VISIONS 2016, FFB’s national conference, the Foundation honored him with its Ed Gollob Board of Directors Award for breakthrough research conducted within the past year.
Jun 24, 2016
A Steady Hand in Saving Vision
Subretinal injection is the most common form of delivery for gene therapies currently in clinical trials.
Oct 8, 2015
A Leap Forward: Spark Therapeutics Seeks FDA Approval for its Vision-Restoring Gene Therapy
Jun 27, 2015
VISIONS 2015 — Dr. José Sahel Receives Foundation's Most Prestigious Research Honor
For those of us supporting the drive for vision-saving treatments and cures, he’s exactly the type of person we want on our team.
Jun 26, 2015
VISIONS 2015 — Dr. Shannon Boye Receives FFB Award for Excellence in Gene-Therapy Research
Dr. Boye received the Foundation’s Board of Director’s Award, which was presented at VISIONS 2015, FFB’s annual conference, for achievements in retinal research.
May 19, 2015
ARVO 2015 Highlight: The National Eye Institute Invests $4 Million in Audacious-Goals Research
The mission of the program—to regenerate the neurons and neural connections in the eye and visual system—is synonymous with the Foundation’s mission to eradicate retinal diseases.
May 12, 2015
ARVO 2015 Highlight: A Cut-and-Paste Approach to Fixing Retinal-Disease Genes
One of the hot topics at ARVO this year is a rapidly advancing gene-therapy approach called clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, or CRISPR.
Aug 1, 2014
How Evolution is Leading to Gene Therapies for More Retinal Diseases
An innovative genetic-engineering approach called “directed evolution” to find optimal gene-delivery systems based on adeno-associated viruses (AAVs).
Jun 21, 2014
VISIONS 2014 — My Retina Tracker: Track Your Vision and Drive the Research
The powerful and secure system enables patients to keep track of their clinical care and vision changes. At the same time, it enables scientists to search the “de-identified” (i.e., anonymous) patient information to study conditions and identify targets for treatments, preventions and cures.
Jun 21, 2014
VISIONS 2014 — The Multi-Talented Dr. Shannon Boye
Dr. Boye and her research team received a $900,000 grant for a gene therapy project targeting Leber congenital amaurosis.
May 8, 2014
ARVO 2014: European Collaboration Developing Cross-Cutting, Vision-Saving Therapies
Simply put, they’re creating therapies that can save vision in as many people as possible, independent of the genetic cause of disease.
Apr 8, 2014
Total Blindness and Non-24 Sleep Disorder
Non-24 is a very rare condition affecting many (but not all) people who are totally blind and have absolutely no light perception. Their circadian clocks become out of sync as a result.
Dec 31, 2013
Nouvelle Lumière: French Bionic Retina in a Human Study
The French retinal implant developer Pixium quietly launched a clinical trial for its Intelligent Retinal Implant System 1 (IRIS1) in France, Austria and Germany.
Jul 26, 2013
Researchers Move Closer to Getting a Complete Genetic Picture of the Retina
Identifying the genes and proteins that play a major role in retinal health and vision is an important step in finding preventions and cures for degenerative diseases.
Jun 12, 2013
Patient Registries Help Advance Research for Rare Diseases
Many registries enable patients to collect and track information about their health, so they can take an active role in managing their care.
May 10, 2013
Grow Your Own: Harnessing Muller Glia for Retinal Regeneration
There’s hope for retinal regeneration for humans, thanks to Foundation-funded researcher Dr. Thomas Reh, who is investigating how to derive new photoreceptors from retinal cells called Muller glia.
May 7, 2013
Retinal Regeneration is Major Focus of NEI's Audacious Goal
The goal, “to regenerate the neurons and neural connections in the eye and visual system,” is exactly what people with retinal diseases need to save and restore their vision.
Apr 30, 2013
Researcher Revolutionized Fight Against Blindness and Cancer
A profile on Dr. Robert Langer, a medical researcher who has received dozens of awards, accolades and honorary degrees, including, recently, FFB’s Visionary Award.
Apr 17, 2013
A New Therapeutic Trick for Old Dogs
Mar 8, 2013
Staying Alive: Saving Retinal Cells to Preserve Vision
Sometimes, saving vision simply comes down to keeping retinal cells alive, or at least slowing their degeneration.
Feb 18, 2013
History in the Making
More good news about treatments and technological advances for restoring vision for people with retinal diseases.
Jun 19, 2012
Have I Got a Cure for You! Debunking an Alleged Treatment on the Internet
How do you know if a treatment is legit? There should be preclinical and clinical trial data published in a peer-reviewed journal on research for the treatment.
May 2, 2023
Mental Health Awareness: Shattering the Stigma
Athletes around the world navigate the challenges of daily life and rigorous training, but what if a factor came into play that you had less control over? What if, one day, something changed in your vision?
Mar 13, 2023
Blind Paralympian Reaching New Heights
Isaac Jean-Paul was diagnosed with X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS) at the age of two. Isaac was always set on being a professional athlete, and now he’s a Paralympian, winning bronze in the long jump in the 2020 Games and breaking the high jump world record three times.
Dec 13, 2021
Reaching for the Stars
At only three months old, Brendon was diagnosed with x-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS). But with several other family members also with XLRS, Brendon knew he could still follow his passions for science and space. Now 22, Brendon is an Aerospace Engineer, starting a PhD program at UCF, and was recently awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship.