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R. T. Tzekov, J. Checchi, C. Clemson, S. Kaushal; Vision Function Effects of Valproic Acid in Off-Label Treatment for AMD. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):916.
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Retrospective study to assess vision function effects of valproic acid (VPA) as off-label treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Fourteen patients with AMD were treated with VPA capsules at doses of 500 mg/day (n = 6) or higher (up to 750 mg/day; n = 8) for a period of 18 weeks (± 11.1) in two clinics (Gainesville, FL and Worcester, MA). Vision function was assessed by change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) (as logMAR) in eyes with non-exudative (n = 18) and exudative (n = 8) forms of AMD. Patients were also queried to assess subjective change in visual perception after treatment. Eyes with the geographic atrophy form of AMD were excluded from this analysis.
Overall, BCVA improved in 10 eyes (38.5%), remained unchanged in 9 eyes (34.6%) and worsened in 7 eyes (26.9%) compared to baseline measurements. However, in patients taking >500 mg/day, BCVA improved in 8 eyes (57%), was unchanged in 6 eyes (43%) and did not worsen in any eyes. Nine patients (64%) reported subjective improvement in visual perception, which corresponded to measurable improvement of BCVA in at least one eye. One patient discontinued treatment due to fatigue.
In AMD patients treated for a relatively short period of time off-label with >500 mg VPA per day, improvements in BCVA and subjective visual perception were found. This finding indicates that VPA could be beneficial (administered either by itself or in conjunction with other treatment modalities) in the treatment of exudative and non-exudative AMD.
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