Friday, February 24, 2012

Fishies to help Stargardt's?

I was looking up the research on Stargardt's and found that a group were testing the effects of DHA (fish oils) on improving vision of people affected by Stargardt's. The results are yet to be published so I decided that I would do the experiment on myself, as taking fish oil supplements couldn't hurt and would probably benefit me in other ways.

The only thing is I hate fish and anything fishy. If I get a piece of grilled fish for lunch I ask the seafood shop for the most un-fishy fish (and everybody usually laughs at me). Whatever I get I still have to scrunch my nose while I eat it.

So I went to my chemist to look at the fish oil supplements, which I have been meaning to do for a while since I don't eat fish, and thought this was a good motivation. I'd looked up the amount of DHA that was needed and I'd have to take around 10 capsules a day. So the pharmacist recommended I try the liquid fish oil that was more concentrated and had a minty flavour.

It took me a couple of days to actually open the bottle because I was disgusted by the idea of having squished fish oil, and when I did I was horrified. It smelt of peppermint fish!! I sucked it up and tried to drink it. It would have to be the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted. I washed it down with orange juice but I could still taste the mintiness on my breath. I could even smell the stuff on my hands and it made me gag.

So as you can imagine, I haven't touched the stuff since. I think I might have to get some tablets instead. Or wait until the study is completed and hope somebody has invented fish oils that are actually edible!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Australian Inherited Retinal Diseases Register

I have previously posted about the Australian Inherited Retinal Diseases Register based in Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital in WA. I plead with anybody who hasn't yet registered to give them a call so that we can get a better idea of how many Aussies are affected.

I spoke to the Research Assistant, Ling, who kindly gave me the statistics they have collected so far. Currently there are 147 registered as being affected by Stargardts. Considering we have around 22 million people in the country, that is 0.000735% of the population (if my maths is correct). So let's spread the word and see if we can get all the Stargardt's people to register!

You can also donate your DNA to their DNA bank for future research. I have also convinced my mum, dad and siblings to give blood too (after I told my sister it was a needle in her rear end and she believed me!), so that in the future researchers can analyse the genetics of the disease.

For more information check out the website below or contact Ling Hoffman (08) 9346 2449.

IRD Register