First Author: M.Leon Higuera MEXICO
Co Author(s): J. Ramirez Estudillo J. Sanchez A. Hernandez
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the western world. As a consequence of AMD, patients develop structural damage that comprises the fovea and subsequently present loss of central vision, low visual acuity and unstable fixation. Contrary to what happens with anti-angiogenic treatment in neovascular AMD, there is currently no definitive treatment to reverse geographic atrophy progression. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the visual rehabilitation treatment via microperimetry in patients with geographic atrophy
Fundación Hospital Nuestra Señora de la Luz, Ciudad de México, México
Longitudinal and prospective study, 18 patients with areas of geographic atrophy in their eye of better visual acuity were included. Macular integrity assessment (MAIA) microperimeter (CentreVue, Padova, Italy) was used to diagnose retinal fixation and sensitivity in these patients. Based on these data and using the training module available in the equipment, the patients underwent visual rehabilitation sessions intended to allow the patient to establish the best possible fixation in the best area of retinal sensitivity. To determine the training effectiveness, the following variables were compared before and after: visual acuity in logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (LogMAR) scale with Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) charts, reading speed with Minnesota Low-Vision Reading Test (MN Read), average sensitivity threshold in microperimetry; P1 and 95% Bivariate Contour Ellipse Area (BCEA) values were used for fixation stability measurement. For the statistical analysis, D`Agostino & Pearson Normality test was done, so thereafter a Wilcoxon signed rank test or Parametric paired “t” test was performed as appropriate
Mean age was 77 years old (65 - 92). Visual acuity of the trained eye was on average 0.7 vs. 0.6 LogMAR (p=0.006) before and one week after training. Reading speed, using both eyes, was 47 words per minute (wpm) before training and 69 wpm after training (p=0.04). Average retinal sensitivity was 14.1 vs. 14.6 decibels (db) (p=0.4). Fixation stability improved with P1 values of 45% vs. 51% (p=0.05) and 95% BCEA values of 43 vs. 25 (p=0.02) before and after training, respectively.
Visual training via microperimetry in patients with age-related macular degeneration is effective in improving fixation stability, reading speed, and visual acuity, measured one week after training is completed.