Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Best vitelliform macular dystrophy

Other Names for this Disease
  • Best disease
  • Best macular dystrophy
  • Macular degeneration, polymorphic vitelline
  • Vitelliform macular dystrophy type 2
  • VMD2
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

My friend has Best disease in his right eye. His vision in this eye is quite stable, although he sees a black spot wherever he focuses. Will his vision remain the same or it can it deteriorate? Is there any way to improve his vision? What are the chances of his left eye also developing Best disease? 

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is Best vitelliform macular dystrophy?

Best vitelliform macular dystrophy is a genetic form of macular degeneration that usually begins in childhood or adolescence and slowly progresses to affect central vision.[1][2][3] Individuals typically retain normal peripheral vision and dark adaptation.[2][3] The age of onset and severity of vision loss are highly variable.[1][2][3] Best vitelliform macular dystrophy is an autosomal dominant condition which is associated with an abnormality in the BEST1 (VMD2) gene.[1][2] There is no specific treatment for vitelliform macular dystrophy at this time.[4] Low vision aids may be helpful.[3]
Last updated: 9/10/2010

How does Best vitelliform macular dystrophy affect vision?

Best vitelliform macular dystrophy affects the retina, the specialized light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Specifically, it disrupts cells in a small area near the center of the retina called the macula. The macula is responsible for sharp central vision, which is needed for detailed tasks such as reading, driving, and recognizing faces.[2]

Best vitelliform macular dystrophy causes a fatty yellow pigment (lipofuscin) to build up in cells underlying the macula.[2] Over time, the abnormal accumulation of this substance can damage cells that are critical for clear central vision. As a result, people with this disorder often lose their central vision, and their eyesight may become blurry or distorted. Best vitelliform macular dystrophy typically does not affect side (peripheral) vision or the ability to see at night.[2]

Studies have shown that most people with Best vitelliform macular dystrophy retain enough vision for reading and driving in at least one eye into adulthood (88% have 20/40 or better vision). Vision usually deteriorates slowly and does not become significant until after age 40.[5]
Last updated: 9/10/2010

What are the chances of developing Best vitelliform macular dystrophy in both eyes?

Various studies have shown that only about 4% of these individuals with Best vitelliform macular dystrophy develop vision less than 20/200 in the better eye.[5]
Last updated: 9/10/2010

Is there treatment for individuals with Best vitelliform macular dystrophy?

There is no specific treatment for Best vitelliform macular dystrophy at this time.[4][5]  Low vision aids provide benefit for those individuals with significant deterioration in visual acuity.[3] Laser photocoagulation, photodynamic therapy, and anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) agents such as bevacizumab have shown limited success in treating some of the secondary manifestations of Best vitelliform macular dystrophy such as choroidal neovascularization (when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula and retina).[3][4][5] 

Most current research is aimed at understanding the genetic cause of the disorder, which may aid in the development of treatment options.[6]
Last updated: 1/17/2013