Vision Restoration Therapy (VRT) to Treat Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy
The goal of this pilot study is to evaluate the effect of Vision Restoration Therapy, VRT, on the visual function of patients with unilateral or bilateral AION, who have good central vision (at least 20/60) and altitudinal visual field defects.
Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy
Device: Vision Restoration Therapy (NOVAVISION)
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Visual Field Defects in Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy: Effect of Vision Restoration Therapy (VRT)|
- Visual Function
|Study Start Date:||August 2005|
|Study Completion Date:||April 2007|
|Primary Completion Date:||April 2007 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AION) is one of the most common causes of optic neuropathy after the age of 50. There is currently no available treatment and although up to 40% of patients have some spontaneous improvement within the first few months, most patients remain visually devastated. About 50% of patients retain relatively spared central visual acuity with an inferior altitudinal visual field defect. These patients usually complain of difficulty reading and loss of depth perception.
Recently, training-induced enlargement of visual field defects has been demonstrated in some patients with VF defects secondary to lesions of the retrochiasmal visual pathways. This computer-based Vision Restoration Therapy (VRT) was developed in Germany and has been FDA-cleared in the United States for the past one year.
VRT is currently available at Emory for patients with homonymous hemianopia. Patients work on personally-designed software (on a laptop at home) twice daily (30 minutes each) for 6 months. Zones of partially damaged neurons, which are usually located between the intact and damaged area of the visual field (transition zone) are deliberately stimulated by VRT. There is only anecdotal evidence that this visual restoration therapy may be helpful in enlarging the visual field of patients with optic neuropathies.
The goal of this pilot study is to evaluate the effect of VRT on the visual function of patients with unilateral or bilateral AION, who have good central vision (at least 20/60) and altitudinal visual field defects. The effect of VRT will be evaluated by visual acuity, color vision, stereo vision, Humphrey VF (24-2 SITA standard) testing, and scales evaluating reading speed and vision-based quality of life. These measures will be repeated before VRT, at 3 months, at 6 months, and at 1 year after VRT. 20 patients will be included in the study. Patients will be randomized at inclusion between VRT and sham (placebo)-training (10 in each group). The 10 patients receiving sham training will then receive VRT for the following 6 months if they so choose. All data will be analyzed in a blinded fashion. The company developing VRT in the United States (NOVAVISION) has agreed to provide VRT and sham-training.