New treatment for macular degeneration?
New research has been found not only to improve vision but also reduce the size and number of the debris built up at the back of the eye.
This amazing new light therapy increases blood flow and stimulates the mitochondria in cells to regenerate. The process uses infra-red light to target tissues. Retinal cells are one of the most energy dependent cells in the body. The therapy light penetrates deep into the layers of the skin and increases energy production and signalling of these cells. The red light also reduces oxidative stress associated with smoking and can reduce inflammation.
Researchers used a sample of damaged retina and treating with the red light they saw a huge improvement. A seven fold reduction in the release of VEGF, the growth factor which causes retinal damage. Left alone, VEGF stimulates growth of new, weak vessels which can leak and rupture. The light works by regulating signalling molecules, necessity for make energy and repair. The light therapy improves the cells ability to remove trapped waste built up in the retina and better repair from this damage.
Photobiomodulation (PBM) involves
the use of visible to near-infrared (NIR)
light (500–1000 nm) produced by a
laser or non-coherent light sources such
as light emitting diodes (LEDs) applied
to the body to produce beneﬁcial cellu-
lar eﬀects. Light in this range penetrates
tissue depending on the wavelength and
stimulates cellular function via activa-
tion of photoacceptors (Rojas et al.
2008; Tata & Waynant 2010; Rojas &
Published studies demonstrate that
mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase
(CCO) is a key photoacceptor of light
at these wavelengths and improves blood
ﬂow and ATP formation, enhances O
binding and reduces oxidative stress and
inﬂammation (Karu et al. 1995; Karu &
The National Eye Institute has received funding to support randomised trails in Canada, thanks to the results of these studies. The promising new treatment has many potential uses outside of optics too. Red light can be used to repair diabetic wounds, arthritis, as cancer radiation protection, in dentistry and even sports medicine.
Tests on animals showed good results and have no moved onto human subjects at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. Patients who have undergone PMB, have noted an increase in vision. Being able to see further down the chart as well as improvements in their ability to see contrast.