Antioxidants (2007, 2011) & Leber's


Learn more about Leber's.

A number of studies associate antioxidants with improvements in the treatment of eye disease, particular conditions of the optic nerve such as Leber's.

These provide some potential lines of future research in looking at treatment for Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON).

These studies include:

Providing nerve cell stability and reducing free radical damage due to toxins including environmental toxins, smoking, and alcohol abuse. These anti-oxidants include vitamins and natural plant extracts, such as Vitamins A, C & E, Co- Ginkgo biloba, curcumin (tumeric).1

A metabolite of vitamin E is Alpha-tocotrienol-quinone which has some reversing-symptoms benefit in trials in early onset vision loss.2

Other treatments, such as brimonidine, are under consideration in protection of the optic nerve with mixed results.3

Finally, gene therapy has been used experimentally.


1. Ritch R. 2007. Natural compounds: evidence for a protective role in eye disease. Can J Ophthalmol. 2007 Jun;42(3):425-38

2. Shrader, W. D.; Amagata, A.; Barnes, A.; Enns, G. M.; Hinman, A.; Jankowski, O.; Kheifets, V.; Komatsuzaki, R. et al. 2011. Alpha-Tocotrienol quinone modulates oxidative stress response and the biochemistry of aging. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 21 (12): 3693-3698

3. Newman NJ, Biousse V, David R, Bhatti MT, Hamilton SR, Farris BK, Lesser RL, Newman SA, Turbin RE, Chen K, Keaney RP. 2005. Prophylaxis for second eye involvement in leber hereditary optic neuropathy: an open-labeled, nonrandomized multicenter trial of topical brimonidine purite. Am J Ophthalmol. Sep;140(3):407-15