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Meghan J DeBenedictis, Sara Davidson, Matthew Streicher, Anson Rosenfeldt, Jay Alberts, Alex Yuan, Aleksandra Rachitskaya; Comprehensive Visual and Mobility Training in Argus II Patients Using Computer Assisted Rehabilitation System. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):3311.
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The Argus II system is the only FDA approved treatment for patients with end-stage retinitis pigmentosa. In order for patients to benefit from the Argus II, they must undergo rehabilitation in order to learn how to interpret the visual stimuli and utilize the system. However, there is currently a lack of outcomes-based visual rehabilitation, in particular with an emphasis on dual tasking (i.e. walking while utilizing Argus II) and functional goals in this patient population. We performed a single-center interventional pilot case series to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of using the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation (CAREN) system in Argus II patients.
Four Argus II patients (3 male and 1 female, ages 72, 76, 81 and 61 years) participated. Participants underwent a baseline assessment, eight interventional rehabilitation sessions utilizing the CAREN system (2x/week for 4 weeks), a post-interventional assessment, and an 8-week follow-up survey. A questionnaire was also used to assess patient experience and satisfaction. Baseline and post-interventional assessments consisted of a combination of visual function testing and functional mobility and balance tests.
All 4 patients were able to successfully interface with the CAREN system and complete the rehabilitation program using the Argus II. On average, there was improvement in visual function, gait distance (ability to walk a particular distance while preforming a task) and posture/balance (see Table 1). Post-intervention, patients reported a high level of satisfaction (median score of 9/10).
Using the CAREN system is feasible for Argus II patients. CAREN enables subjects to experience a dynamic platform for training. In this pilot study, some patients improved on dual tasking, visual function testing, mobility and balance. A larger study is needed to assess the significance of CAREN or other virtual reality training environments in retinal prosthesis recipients.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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