2019 - 3 Issue

Original article

Methods of Improving the Visual Functions in Patients with Stable Maculopathy – Pilot Results of a New Study

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Purpose: To present pilot results of the project in which the primary goal is to optimize way how to increase the quality of life of patients with the stable maculopathy by implanting intraocular Scharioth macular lens (SML) and modulating visual plasticity by a transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) together with a visual rehabilitation.

Materials and Methods: The study will include 20 patients with stable maculopathy (mainly age-related macular degeneration - AMD) who underwent cataract surgery in past and are eligible for SML implantation. The duration of the project is 3 years. During the first year of the project 17 patients were screened, SML implantation was recommended to 4 of them. They met the indication criteria of SML implantation and SML was implanted into the better seeing eye. The third postoperative day, the tES sessions started and were applied 20 times in the first month after SML implantation. The stimulation was delivered in double blind design (a stimulated and a shame group). Visual exercises and rehabilitation took place during the tES. The patients were examined ophthalmologically and also using electrophysiological methods.

Results: Before the implantation, the best corrected distance visual acuity was 0.23. At near it was Jaeger number 15 uncorrected, with +3.0 sphere dioptres J.No.10.5 and with +6.0 sph dpt J.No. 4.5. After the surgery and visual rehabilitation BCVA was 0.13 after 3 weeks, 0.2 after 2 months and 0.14 after 6 months. At near it was uncorrected J.No.7.5 after 3 weeks, J.No.7 after 2 months and J.No.5 after 6 months.

Conclusion: According to a few participants, the impact of SML implantation together with intensive visual rehabilitation on vision at near and on satisfaction of patients with AMD could not be significantly established. Nevertherless, these patients are limited in their daily activities and SML is one of the solutions for them. The project is ongoing and blinded still, there is also a need of more participants to assess the effect of tES on vision, the results will be presented. We have proven the safety of methods used in the project.