Study: Acetyl-L-carnitine, omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10 (2005) & Macular Degeneration Drusens



This study looked at positive changes in patients with early age-related macular degeneration treated with a combination of acetyl-L-carnitine, n-3 fatty acids, and coenzyme Q10.

This study was double-blind (neither the 106 patients nor the researchers knew the who was receiving which treatment), random and included placebos. The purpose was to determine the effectiveness of a combined acetyl-L-carnitine, N3 fatty acids, and CoQ10 on the visual capacity and changes within the eye (in the fundus) in early age-related macular degeneration). The patients were divided into a test group and a control group.

"The primary efficacy variable was the change in the visual field mean defect (VFMD) from baseline to 12 months of treatment, with secondary efficacy parameters: visual acuity (Snellen chart and ETDRS chart), foveal sensitivity as measured by perimetry, and fundus alterations as evaluated according to the criteria of the International Classification and Grading System for AMD."

The treated group had significant improvement by the end of the study. In addition, in the treated group 2% experienced deterioration in VFMD, and 17% of the placebo group showed clinically significant deterioration.

The researchers also found that the lessening of the drusen-covered area of treated eyes was also statistically significant as compared to placebo patients.

The results indicated that an appropriate combination of compounds which affect mitochondrial lipid metabolism, may improve and subsequently stabilize visual functions, and it may also improve fundus alterations in patients affected by early AMD.

Published: Ophthalmologica. 2005 May-Jun;219(3):154-66.