Hope for RP in Herbal Remedy

MAY 02, 2016
Gale Scott
Patients with the hereditary degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa (RP) may delay their loss of daytime vision by taking a traditional Chinese plant remedy Lycium barbarum also known as goji berry or wolfberry, a team from Hong Kong reports.

In an abstract presented May 1 at the 2016 ARVO  conference in Seattle, WA, Henry Chan and colleagues from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong studied 23 patients who got either the remedy or placebo daily for 12 months.

They found the group that got Lycium barbarum (LB) showed less deterioration in contrast visual acuity as measured by several tests.

“Our results confirm that the 6 months LB treatment for RP patients had marginal significant improvement
in low-contrast VA and central visual sensitivity," the team said.

The plant has a neuroprotective effect believed to delay or minimize the deterioration of central visual function in RP,” they concluded..

Those visual acuity  measurements showed that changes of 10% contrast visual acuity for the groups were -0.5 for the LB
group and 0.6 for the placebo group. 

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