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Indre Bielskus, Agni Kakouri, Nicholas Maxwell Pfahler, Jordan Lynn Barry, Stephanie Aman, Zibute Zaparackas, Nicholas J Volpe, Paul A Knepper; Curcumin acts to regress macular drusen volume in dry AMD. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):1036.
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is characterized by a progressive accumulation of yellow deposits, drusen, that damage the macula. Drusen volume is a known useful marker for predicting late stage AMD. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of oral curcumin on drusen size in dry AMD.
20 AMD patients were recruited from Zaparackas and Knepper, Ltd after IRB approval and written consent. Each subject voluntarily took oral curcumin (1330mg BID) for 6 months. The cohort was divided into group 1a (n=14) and 1b (n=6). Both groups had retinal images taken at 0, 2, 4, and 6 months using a Heidelberg Spectralis OCT. Group 1a had OCT retinal images taken at 6 months prior to baseline to act as an internal control. Using 7 B-scans centered over the fovea, each druse was outlined, measured and recorded by macular region (fovea, parafovea, and perifovea), and size: small (<63µm), medium (63-124µm), and large (>125µm). Volume measurements were taken and compared over time. Using a staging system modified from Seddon et al, each subject was classified based on ocular examination and imaging. Based on this system, 19 were intermediate, and 1 was advanced. Three endpoints were analyzed: 1) Total drusen volume change; 2) A total drusen volume threshold of 0.03mm3 for increased risk in developing late-stage AMD; and 3) Change in staging.
Mean drusen volume (mm3) significantly decreased in 11 subjects (0.110±0.106 - 0.055±0.060, p=0.004), remained stable in 3 (0.265±0.127 - 0.260±0.168, p=0.18), and increased in 4 subjects (0.112±0.219 - 0.154±0.206, p=0.04). Mean foveal volume was significantly decreased (-14.0%, p<0.0001) in the cohort at 6 months. Notably, 1 subject’s staging decreased from intermediate to early AMD. Drusen volume in 1 subject decreased below the threshold risk volume of 0.03mm3 and 2 subjects exhibited an increase in total drusen volume above 0.03mm3.
Oral curcumin decreased drusen volume in 11 subjects. The drusen volume increased in the 6 months prior to the start of the curcumin study, showing the progressive nature of the disease; however, the responders’ drusen volume returned to baseline. The results indicate the use of oral curcumin could be beneficial to some patients with the dry form of AMD.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
Figure 1: (A) Average total drusen volume response over time. (B) Overall drusen volume response in cohort 1a.
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