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A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial of Curcumin in Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON)

This study has been completed.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
First Posted: September 12, 2007
Last Update Posted: December 24, 2012
The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
Information provided by:
Mahidol University
September 11, 2007
September 12, 2007
December 24, 2012
May 2005
Not Provided
visual outcome [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
Same as current
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00528151 on ClinicalTrials.gov Archive Site
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A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial of Curcumin in Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON)
A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial of Curcumin in Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON)

Background Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) is a maternally inherited ocular disorder associated with a mutation in mtDNA . The common manifestation is visual loss which caused by the respiratory chain enzymes complex dysfunction resulting in increased oxidative stress enzymes production.

Purpose To determine whether curcumin which is an antioxidant agent is beneficial to the patients with 11778 LHON mutation.

Material and Method Seventy patients with 11778 LHON mutation were randomly treated with oral curcumin (500 mg/day) and placebo for 1 year. The visual acuity, computerized visual field, electrophysiologic parameters and oxidative stress enzymes in plasma were compared before and after treatment at 3, 6, and 12 months interval.

Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a maternally inherited disease that is characterized by a simultaneous or more common sequential bilateral loss of central vision, which typically occurs during the teenager years or early adulthood. The disease may be progressive and the patients eventually become blind. In contrast to blindness in patients caused by congenital diseases, the patients who develop blindness caused by LHON will have more trouble in their life because they previously had better vision. Although LHON is associated with mitochondrial DNA mutation at a variable nucleotide position but no certain mechanism of optic nerve injury has been found. It has been postulated that a defect in a complex of respiratory chain enzyme which is caused by mitochondrial DNA dysfunction, results in an increase of free radical substances that interfere with optic nerve function in LHON. Some antioxidant substances have been used to decrease the progression of visual impairment. However, there have been few therapeutic trials for LHON.

Curcumin, a component of tumeric, which comes from the root Curcumin longa has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activities. There is some evidence which suggests that curcumin contributes to the in vitro removal of free radical gradients in thalassemic serum and to a clinical improvement of thalassemic patients. We propose a randomized controlled trial study of curcumin, which is an antioxidant substance, for LHON. This study will provide not only an insight into the therapeutic efficacy of curcumin, a kind of Thai herb, for LHON but also the development of future therapeutic strategies to prevent blindness.

Phase 3
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Optic Atrophy, Hereditary, Leber
Drug: curcumin
curcumin 250 mg twice a day in the first group. placebo 1 capsule twice a day in the second group.
Placebo Comparator: 2
  1. curcumin
  2. placebo
Intervention: Drug: curcumin
Not Provided

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
December 2007
Not Provided

Inclusion Criteria:

  • LHON patient with 11778 point mutation

Exclusion Criteria:

  • LHON patient with other point mutation
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
8 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
Not Provided
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Mahidol University
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Principal Investigator: Professor Wanicha L Chuenkongkaew, MD Mahidol University
Mahidol University
August 2004

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP