Purpose: The LIGHTSITE I study investigated the efficacy and safety of photobiomodulation (PBM) treatment in subjects with dry age-related macular degeneration.
Methods: Thirty subjects (46 eyes) were treated with the Valeda Light Delivery System, wherein subjects underwent two series of treatments (3× per week for 3–4 weeks) over 1 year. Outcome measures included best-corrected visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, microperimetry, central drusen volume and drusen thickness, and quality of life assessments.
Results: Photobiomodulation-treated subjects showed a best-corrected visual acuity mean letter score gain of 4 letters immediately after each treatment series at Month 1 (M1) and Month 7 (M7). Approximately 50% of PBM-treated subjects showed improvement of ≥5 letters versus 13.6% in sham-treated subjects at M1. High responding subjects (≥5-letter improvement) in the PBM-treated group showed a gain of 8 letters after initial treatment (P < 0.01) and exhibited earlier stages of age-related macular degeneration disease. Statistically significant improvements in contrast sensitivity, central drusen volume, central drusen thickness, and quality of life were observed (P < 0.05). No device-related adverse events were reported.
Conclusion: Photobiomodulation treatment statistically improved clinical and anatomical outcomes with more robust benefits observed in subjects with earlier stages of dry age-related macular degeneration. Repeated PBM treatments are necessary to maintain benefits. These pilot findings support previous reports and suggest the utility of PBM as a safe and effective therapy in subjects with dry age-related macular degeneration.
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