Microcurrent Stimulation to Treat Macular Degeneration

By Edward C. Kondrot, MD (H)Microcurrent stimulation is an exciting development that is now being used to treat macular degeneration. Results of the initial clinical trials indicate that 70% of patients with the dry or wet form of macular degeneration will have a significant improvement of vision.

There are many factors related to the etiology of macular degeneration.  The most common cause is the arteriosclerotic process that takes place as we age. The macula has very high metabolic needs compared to other areas of the body. It requires proper nutritional elements, oxygen, and the elimination of waste products in order to function properly. Arteriosclerosis reduces the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the macula and will cause a dysfunction in the macula and, ultimately, degeneration. The increased levels of free radicals are related to the development of macular degeneration.  Free radicals lead to the breakdown of important cellular structures, which are necessary for proper macular functioning.  The earliest changes take place in the development of drusen.  Drusen are deposits, which develop at the base of the retinal pigment epithelial cells. These are often accompanied by pigmentary abnormalities. This can either be hypo or hyperpigmentary changes. These changes then progress to atrophy or dry macular degeneration. The dry type results in a slow progressive loss of vision.  In another type of ARMD, small blood vessels develop which result in leakage of blood or fluid. This is wet macular degeneration and often leads to a rapid decrease in vision. In one study 88% of severe visual loss in ARMD was seen in the wet form.

Microcurrent stimulation (MCS) is a treatment in which a weak electric current is used to stimulate the retina and the diseased macula to restore sight. Interest in the procedure developed when Sam Snead, the retired professional golfer, underwent a series of MCS treatments which improved his vision which was weakened by macular degeneration.

The MCS is different from the more commonly used TENS  (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). TENS uses a higher voltage to block the nerve impulse and has wide application in pain control. It stimulates the pain-suppressing nerve fibers to work against the pain-carrying nerve fibers. MCS uses low voltage to stimulate the natural healing mechanisms of the body. Robert Becker, in The Body Electric, documents the relationship of electricity in life and healing.  Becker found that voltage differences develop in the body during injury and disease. An injury produces a positive charge in the area and sets up the voltage potential differences. It becomes a bioelectric battery waiting to be turned on. Studies show that the MCS facilitates the healing of the body. An article by Cheng et al (1982) delineated the effect of Microcurrent on the three variables necessary to the healing process of the cell: adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generation, protein synthesis, and membrane transport. His studies showed at low voltage (500 micro-amp) ATP generation in the rat skin increased almost 500%, and amino acid transport was increased 30 to 40%. Microcurrent technology has been used as an effective treatment for the healing of bone fractures, tendon, and skin injuries.

In 1993, Dr. Merill Allen and Dr. Leland Michael published their preliminary study on the rate of development of ARMD in people using nutritional supplements and simultaneous treatment with a weak electrical current.   In 1997, Dr. John Jarding reported his results after treating thirty-five macular degeneration patients with a controlled MicroCurrent containing between 200 and 250 micro-amps applied to eight points around the eye.  All thirty-five patients reported an improvement in their vision.

The Macular Degeneration Foundation has begun a national clinical trial to look at the effects of MCS and ARMD.

Some examples of results of MCS and macular degeneration 36 patients/ 25 with an improvement of vision / 9 no change/ 2 worse

Case Histories:

  • J.L. is an artist was having difficulty with her paintings due to ARMD. Her complaints were blurred vision and difficulty with distinguishing shades of color.  After several MCS treatments, her vision returned to normal and she was able to distinguish the subtle shades of color.
  • E.S. had advanced ARMD and was unable to watch TV and drive her car. After the MCS treatment, her vision improved so she could now watch TV. She is now thinking about getting her divers license.

To order this innovative and exciting book click on the image or book name below.  For more information on a doctor near you who does Microcurrent Stimulation call 1-800-430-9328.Click on Image for More Information on Ordering  Microcurrent Stimulation : Miracle Eye Cure by Edward C. Kondrot, M.D.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Edward C. Kondrot, MD (H), CCH Homeopathic Ophthalmology ekondrot@pipeline.com http://www.homeopathiceye.com Offices in Phoenix, AZ and Pittsburgh, PA

Suite 425, 5501 N. 19th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85015 (602) 347-7950

Suite 303, 20 Cedar Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15228 (412) 341-0830


Edward L. Paul, Jr., O.D., Ph.D.* 

*Visiting Professor of Ophthalmology Chairman, Department of Continuing Medical Education St. Lukes University School of Medicine

Abstract :
From May 2001 to November 2002, 94 eyes diagnosed with typically untreatable retinal diseases including age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and Stargardts were treated with an integrated treatment protocol employing micro current electrical stimulation and nutritional supplementation.  Overall, 68% showed a marked increase in vision function and visual acuity following therapy.  The success rate in age-related macular degeneration was 72% (26 out of 36 eyes), in retinitis pigmentosa 53% (18 out of 34 eyes), and in Stargardts 83% (20 out of 24 eyes).  The average level of improvement was 2-3 lines as measured using the Snellen eye chart.

Micro Current Stimulation (MCS) therapy is a non-invasive procedure which involves stimulating the retina and nerve fibers with very low intensity electrical current using a FDA and CE Mark approved electrical stimulation device.  The current is delivered in the micro Amp range at different electrical frequencies through electrodes applied over closed eyelids.  The treatment causes no discomfort or pain and is administered for 12 minutes, twice each day.  While a very effective form of treatment, MCS therapy is not a cure for retinal diseases and must be continued for the life of the patient.  Overall, no side effects or adverse reactions related to this procedure have been observed.
It is theorized that MCS therapy works by increasing intracellular ATP (adenosine triphosphate) concentrations, enhancing protein synthesis, and stimulating the cells ability to absorb nutrients. Through these mechanisms, MCS therapy improves RPE (retinal pigment epithelium) efficiency and thereby may restore and/or improve retinal function.
ATP is synthesized in the mitochondria process known as the Krebs Cycle, the sequence of reactions in the mitochondria that complete the oxidation of glucose in respiration.  Kroll and Guerrieri have shown that there are age related changes in mitochondrial metabolism resulting in a decrease of the ATP synthase activity in the retina with age. Guerrieri has gone further to show functional and structural differences of the mitochondria F0F1 ATP synthase complex in aging rats. It is theorized that many retinal diseases, at least in part, are due to a decrease in mitochondria function and the subsequent decrease in intracellular ATP. This decrease in mitochondria function results from free radical damage and the mutation of mtDNA (mitochondria DNA).  It is interesting to note the genetic link between ATP and retinal disease.  ATPase (ATP Synthase) is an enzyme which catalyzes the synthesis of ATP. A genetic defect in the ATPase 6 Gene has now been implicated in retinitis pigmentosa.
In October 2001 the National Eye Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, published the Age-Related Eye Disease Study which stated unequivocally that nutritional supplementation is an effective therapy against macular degeneration.  This study was based on a seven-year double-blind study conducted by the NEI at eleven medical centers across the United States.  It is clear that proper nutritional support can help protect us from diminishing eyesight and degenerative ocular complications as we grow older.
In evaluating MCS therapy in the treatment of retinal disease, clinical testing has shown that nutritional supplementation serves as a synergistic catalyst in boosting the effectiveness of MCS therapy.  Subsequently, nutritional supplementation is a critical part of the MCS therapy program.  The formula used on the test subjects was identical to that used in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study with the addition of Lutein, Taurine, and DHA (DocosaHexanoic Acid).
In respect to the legal status of MCS therapy, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the practice of medicine, however they do regulate the sale of medical devices. Before a medical device can be legally sold or used in the U.S., the person or company that wants to sell or use the device must seek approval from the FDA. To gain approval, they must present evidence that the device is reasonably safe and effective for a particular use.  The devices used in MCS therapy are approved, however they were originally developed and approved for the symptomatic relief of chronic intractable pain and as an adjunctive treatment in the management of post-surgical traumatic pain problems.  Once the FDA has approved a medical device, a doctor may decide to use that device for other indications if the doctor feels it is in the best interest of a patient. Subsequently, the use of an approved device for anything other than its FDA approved indication is called off-label.  MCS therapy for the treatment of retinal disease is considered an off-label use.
At least twenty other studies have been published regarding electrical currents effectiveness in dealing with degenerative disease, tissue repair, and cell regeneration.  Four other studies have been published specifically addressing MCS therapy’s effect on retinal disease.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology issued a position statement regarding micro current stimulation which states  the overall rate of adverse effects from electrical stimulation appears to be low.  In the study of AMD and micro current stimulation, there were no reported adverse side effects from the electrical stimulation  long-term studies with larger samples of patients, and adequate control groups compared to micro current stimulation are critical to establishing a base of evidence regarding effectiveness.    The author agrees with the Academy’s position and two double-masked, randomized, and multi-site clinical trials are planned.  The first will be coordinated by the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center on the treatment of dry (non-exudative) age- related macular degeneration (AMD).  A second study will evaluate the effect of MCS therapy on a variety of retinal pathologies including Stargardts, retinitis pigmentosa, and the wet (exudative) form of AMD. However, since there is no harmful aspect to the treatment as it currently exists and there is no viable alternative to this treatment, the author feels that eye care professionals should not withhold this option from patients pending the results of the long-term studies.

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21. Reader, AL, Halloran, G; Bioelectrical Stimulation in an Integrated Treatment for Macular Degeneration, RP, Glaucoma, CMV, and DR; Fourth Annual Symposium on Biological Circuits, Oct. 1997, Mankato University, MN.
22. Ngok Cheng, M.D., Harry Van Hoof, M.D., Emmanuel Bockx, M.D., Michel J. Hoogmartens, M.D.*, Joseph C. Muler, M.D.*, Frans J. De Ducker, Ph.D.*, Willy M. Sansen, Ph.D.*, and William De Loecker, M.D. *University of Louvain, Belgium The Effects of Electrical Currents on ATP Generation, Protein Synthesis, and Membrane Transport; Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.
Presented to the: International Society for Low-Vision Research and Rehabilitation (ISLRR) Goteborg University, Faculty of Medicine, Goteborg, Sweden
Authors Contact Information: Post Office Box 1443  Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480  (866) 801-0204 Epauljr@aol.com

~ by 619 on November 1, 2013.

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