Congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB) consists of a group of inherited retinal dystrophies that cause nyctalopia (night blindness) and variable decreased central vision from birth. Patients with CSNB will also often have nystagmus (a constant roving movement of the eyes) from infancy. However, it is important to know that CSNB is a stationary disease, which means that the disease does not progress/worsen over time. CSNB can be caused by many genes, and as such can be inherited in either autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, or X-linked patterns. As can be expected, the degree to which patients with CSNB are affected can vary significantly, and may depend on their specific mutation or gene. You may hear the terms “complete” and “incomplete” used to describe CSNB – these refer to the relative dysfunction of the rods (night vision) and cones (central vision) in these subtypes of CSNB. Generally, in the “incomplete” form, decreased central vision is more prominent than in the “complete” type of CSNB.
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