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Journal of neuro-ophthalmology : the official journal of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society

Effects of idebenone on color vision in patients with leber hereditary optic neuropathy.


PMID 23263355

Abstract

The authors investigated the correlation of protan and tritan color vision with disease characteristics in Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). The authors also characterized the therapeutic potential of idebenone in protecting patients from developing dyschromatopsia in LHON. Color contrast data of 39 LHON patients participating in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled intervention study were evaluated. Patients reported disease onset <5 years before enrolment and were genetically confirmed. Protan and tritan color contrast sensitivity was measured using a computer graphics method in patients receiving idebenone (Catena; 900 mg/d; N = 28) or placebo (N = 11) for 6 months. Mean age of patients was 28.1 years, 87.2% were men, 76.9% carried the m11778G>A mutation, and mean duration since onset was 2 years. Assessing protan and tritan color vision at baseline revealed a high degree of color confusion even in young patients (<25 years) and with a short history of disease (<1 year). Treatment with idebenone improved tritan color vision compared with placebo (P = 0.008 at week 24); a similar trend was seen for protan. The effect of idebenone was most prominent in patients with discordant visual acuity (interocular difference of logMAR >0.2). In this subgroup, the treatment effect at week 24 was 20.4% (P = 0.005) in favor of idebenone for the tritan color domain and 13.5% (P = 0.067) for the protan domain. This study confirms that protan and tritan color confusion is an early symptom in LHON. Treatment with idebenone can protect from loss of color vision, particularly in patients who are at imminent risk of further vision loss.

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