Microcurrent Stimulation (93, 97, 02, 09, 2015) & Macular Degeneration
In a small clinical study of 17 patients aged average 83 years old low-frequency microcurrent stimulation, applied on closed eyelids, improvement in visual acuity resulted.
Some of the patients suffered from wet macular degeneration, the more advanced form of macular degeneration. For these patients, although there were promising results, such results were not statistically significant.
However, for the patients with dry macular degeneration, 52% of the patients showed improvement while 26% of the patients showed continued deterioration, and the remainder showed no change.
It should be noted that the treatment was performed only once a week, while in other studies with better results, daily treatment is utilized.
These results support the need for further research using a larger sample with double-blind controls. Nonetheless, this small study, even once a week, and even with such a small sample size did display positive results.
Researchers: L. Chaikin, et al.
Published: Microcurrent stimulation in the treatment of dry and wet macular degeneration, Journal of Clinical Ophthalmology, December, 2015
Microcurrent stimulation is an application of electrotherapy used in this study of patients with macular degeneration. The researchers were looking into appropriate design models for the electrotherapeutic device and the treatment protocol. The factors include the skin interface, reliability, contraints, protocal, and safety.
In FDA guided and supervised clinical studies on patients dry macular degeneration, 61% of a 400 patients treated with electrotherapy (MSC) had improvments in vision sharpness of 2 or more lines on the Snellen chart. The average intensities of electric current of 60 to 125 muA range were used for this level of result. It is expected that with additional improvments in waveforms, frequency choices, protocols and device applications, these sorts of improvements can be expected in patients with early stages of diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, and dry macular degeneration.
Editor's Note: The current and frequencies used in our MCS 100ile unit is consistent with the 5 research studies done summarized on our website, and as the most research behind it regarding macular degeneration.
Researchers: O'Clock GD, Jarding JB.
Published: Electrotherapeutic device/protocol design considerations for visual disease applications, Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2009. EMBC 2009. Annual International Conference of the IEEE. 2009:2133-6.
In a small 18 month pilot study Dr. Paul treated 94 patients' eyes suffering from AMD, Stargardt's or retinitis pigmentosa with microcurrent stimulation. 68% of those patients experienced an improvement in visual function and visual acuity.
For the patients with dry macular degeneration (36 eyes) 72% had improvement using the Snellen acuity chart with an average improvement of 2 to 3 lines which were readable after the treatment period.
The patients with retinitis pigmentosa (34 eyes) had a 53% improvement rate.
The patients with Stargardt's (24 eyes) had an 83% improvement rate.
Reseachers: Edward Paul, O.D., Ph.d. Visiting Professor of Ophthalmology, Chairman, Department of Continuing Medical Education St. Lukes University School of Medicine.
Presented: The Treatment of Retinal Disease With MCS and Nutritional Supplementation, International Society for Low-Vision Research and rehabilitation at the Low Vision Congress in Gothenberg, Sweden 2002.
In a two year study involving 114 patients researchers investigated effects of microcurrent stimulation on patients with macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and other retina problems.
- Of 18 patients with AMD, 16 showed improvement.
- Of 78 patients with retinitis pigmentosa, 62 showed improvement.
- Of 18 patients with other retinal problems, 16 showed improvement.
- 14 other patients showed no improvement, but their condition stabilized and did not get worse as expected.
- 2 other patients continued to lose vision, but at a slow rate.
Researchers: Grace Halloran, PhD, et al.
Published: Bioelectrical Stimulation in an Integrated Treatment for Macular Degeneration, Retinitis Pigmentosa, Glaucoma, CMV, and DR; Fourth Annual Symposium on Biologically Closed Electrical Circuits, Mankato University, MN, October, 1997
Researchers treated 43 patients who had dry macular degeneration with microcurrent stimulation (200 micro-amps, 20 minutes per session). A total of 65 eyes were treated. We do not know how frequently the treatments were give, but there were a total of 36 sessions.
54% of the patients had an improvement of 1 to 4 lines of on the Snellen acuity chart; 31% improved 2 to 4 lines. In addition the visual fields increased for all patients both vertically and horizontally (85% horizontal improvement, 70% vertical improvement).
Humphrey 30-2 threshold fields significantly improved for 55% of those treated. These field improvements imply changes in receptor and ganglion cell function, with implications for treating Retinitis Pigmentosa as well. Flourescein Angiography documented improved blood flow and scar reduction. These positive outcomes show the potential of Micro-current therapy in the treatment of Macular Degeneration and retinal disease.
Researchers: Larry B. Wallace, O.D. FCSO
Published: Treatment for Macular Degeneration Utilizing Micro-Current Stimulation, Journal of Optometric Phototherapy, March, 1997
Miller treated 120 patients with macular degeneration or Stargardt's disease with microcurrent stimulation. 83% of the patients showed improvement in reading a visual acuity chart of 2 or more lines. 11 of the patients had Stargardt's and of those patients 100% had improvement of 2 or more lines of visual acuity. One patient had x-linked retinoschisis who also had 2 lines of improvement for both eyes. Of the 49 patients with wet macular degeneration 88% saw improvement, while of the 60 patients with dry macular degeneration 77% showed improvement. Note that other studies have found results to be better for patients with the dry form of macular degeneration.
Researcher: Damon P. Miller, MD.
In a seven year long clinical research study Drs. Jarding and Michael evaluated the results of treating patients with macular degeneration with microcurrent stimulation. The study involved 400 eyes. 78% of the eyes showed from 1-9 lines of improvement in reading a visual acuity chart. More than 50% improved from 2-9 lines of the chart. 2 of the patients who had retinal vein occlusions accompanied by macular swelling experienced dramatic improvement.
The doctors also treated these patients with specific nutrients.
Reseachers: Leland Michael, et al.
Published: Nutritional supplementation, electrical stimulation and age related macular degeneration. Journal of Orthomological Medicine, 1993.
Note: In a second 1998 report Merrill, Jarding & Zehner updated this research. This article reports on the changes in nutrients tested in 1998.