First Oral Agent To Quell Invasive Macular Degeneration, Restore Lost Vision In Otherwise Hopeless Cases

From: The Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,

Ft. Lauderdale, FL (May 6, 2012) – There may be new found hope for patients whose vision is threatened when medicine injected directly into the eyes fails to cause abnormal blood vessels to recede. While injectable drugs called angiogenesis (an-gee-oh-jen-esis) inhibitors are considered a modern miracle and have become the standard of care for patients with the fast-progressive form of macular degeneration, they are not foolproof. For the first time researchers report that an oral nutriceutical, used on a last-resort clinical basis, rapidly restores vision to otherwise hopeless patients who face permanent loss.

Stuart Richer OD, PhD, Director, Ocular Preventative Medicine-Eye Clinic, James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, North Chicago, Illinois, says all other therapies were exhausted before employing the oral nutriceutical under compassionate-use protocols on a case-by-case basis. Usually most patients respond to medicine injected directly into the eyes, he says, but only about one in three patients recover driving vision and one in six patients go on to experience permanent vision loss and others may refuse needle injections directly into the eyes, making them candidates for this rescue medicine.

Three successfully treated cases were presented at the annual Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

One striking case is an 88-year old woman whom retinal specialists said was beyond any help offered by conventional medicines or surgery. The nutriceutical helped this hospitalized woman regain her ability to see faces, read a menu and visualize her handwriting in just 4 days. “As she was an in-patient, we noted that curiously that her systemic hypotension and 40 year history of migraines improved over the coming months of use”, according to Dr Richer.

In another case a 75-year old man with failing vision experienced recovery of vision in 5 days and was able to renew his driver’s license after taking just 7 nutriceutical capsules.

Dr. Richer says 16 of the first 17 cases responded positively to nutriceutical medicine. There were no side effects reported. Because these patients faced impending loss of vision, for ethical reasons no patients received inactive placebo pills. He says it is unknown whether this nutriceutical produces such positive results in the more common dry form of macular degeneration, but the benefit to vision is typically bilateral (both eyes) and self-evident.

Dr. Richer says in these first cases he has monitored, blind spots (called scotomas) disappear, time to recover from bright light (glare recovery test) is reduced, and contrast vision (shades of grey) as well as visual acuity (ability to see letters on a chart) generally improve within 3-6 weeks with the nutriceutical. “With our instruments we documented a more youthful appearance of the individual retinal layers, as well as the underlying circulation. “There were also these systemic improvements in some patients that were unanticipated.”

Only in recent years has there been a reliable way to treat wet macular degeneration, a disorder where abnormal blood vessels invade the visual center (macula) of the eyes. Any of three FDA-approved drugs, Avastin, Lucentis and Eylea, are needle-injected into the white of the eye to diminish the formation of these abnormal blood vessels. These are considered miracle drugs. Re-treatment is usually necessary every six to eight weeks. However, since these drugs are not foolproof, an oral formulation was employed with measurable success.

Dr. Richer selected a particular nutriceutical mixture of vitamins and small herbal molecules (Longevinex®) because of its extensive testing, publications and its proven ability to favorably alter genes in a superior manner to other available nutriceuticals. Dr. Richer cautions that other similar store-bought products are not likely to produce the same rapid results seen among his patients. He advises patients not to risk their vision with unproven products. Nor should patients consider this oral medicine supplants injected medicine.

While the nutriceutical used in this report is non-prescription and directly available to patients and could be used alongside injected drugs, Dr. Richer advises physician consultation prior to its use. “It still remains unproven until it is evaluated in broader studies” says Dr. Richer who adds: “the new science of epi-genetics suggests that age-related eye problems may not be inevitably progressive and biological age is not necessarily cast in stone.” There is new-found hope for recovery of lost vision, regardless of the patient’s age.

Dr. Richer has no financial interest in the products used in his investigations. To learn more, or donate – visit Dr. Richer’s website at ####


Stuart Richer, OD, PhD, FAAO

Director, Ocular Preventive Medicine- Eye Clinic
James A Lovell Federal Health Care Center – North Chicago
3001 Green Bay Road North Chicago, IL 60064-3095
T 224-610-7145 Cell 847 409-4131

Associate Professor, Family & Preventive Medicine
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science – North Chicago

Assistant Clinical Professor, UIC Dept of Ophthalmology and Visual Science – Chicago

Program#/Poster#: Presentation Abstract:286/A527
ARVO MEETING 2012, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Abstract Title: Observation of Human Retinal Remodeling in Octogenarians with Resveratrol+
Presentation Start/End Time: Sunday, May 06, 2012, 8:30 AM -10:15 AM
Session Number: 109
Session Title: Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine Cross-Section Posters I
Location: Hall B/C
Reviewing Code: 290 regenerative medicine – NT
Author Block: Stuart P. Richer1,2, William R. Stiles3, Lawrence Ulanski, II3,4, Carla Thomas1. 1Eye Clinic 112E, Capt James Lovell Fed Hlth Care Center, North Chicago, IL; 2RFUMS / Chicago Medical School, Department Preventive and Family Medicine, North Chicago, IL; 3Eye Clinic 112E, Capt James Lovell Fed Hlth Care Facility, North Chicago, IL; 4Retina Service, Eye and Ear Infirmary, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL.
Keywords: 684 regeneration, 685 retina, 412 age-related macular degeneration

Abstract Body:


Spontaneous remissions from age related macular degeneration (AMD) suggest the human retina has large regenerative capacity, even in advanced age. In 2009, we reported resolution of 5 measures of visual function in an 80-year old male with dry AMD placed on a stabilized low-dose resveratrol (RV+) based supplement: (Richer SP, Stiles W. Molecular Medicine in Ophthalmic Care. Optom 2009; 80: 695- 71).


The OTC supplement resveratrol+ was suggested to multiple patients with dry and wet AMD, who progressed on AREDS II type supplements or refused intra-vitreal injections. Patients were clinically followed with high resolution 10 raster SD OCT (OptoVue) & vision function tests:


We present 3 notable observations of short-time-frame dramatic improvement in retinal anatomy.

  • CASE 1 (Top): 75 y/o with Age-related macular degeneration left eye, foveal occult membrane with restored retinal architecture and better visual acuity in 5 days and a driver’s license after 7 days.
  • CASE 2 (Middle): 86 y/o with medically unresponsive left eye retinal edema (swelling) , reads at 21 days and has 7 lines better visual acuity. Again, swelling subsides and vision rapidly improves.
  • CASE 3 (Bottom): 88 y/o w age-related macular degeneration refusing medicine (Lucentis®) injection and sees faces and reads magazines at 14 days. Disrupted layers of the retina resolve and a normal foveal pit (visual focusing center) is re-established.

Resveratrol+ is used in cardiology to prevent reperfusion injury. It was suggested to retinal patients because its components are known to ↓ Inflammation (COX-2, CRP); ↓ HIF-1 & VEGF genes (microRNA 21, 20b, 539); ↑ Nrf2 endogenous antioxidants (glutathione); ↓ Blood clotting (platelet stickiness); ↑ Vasodilation (nitric oxide); ↑ Metal chelation (iron, copper); ↓ Oxidation, peroxidation; ↓ Cell adhesion (platelets, microbes, tumor) and ↓ Calcification (i.e. Bruch’s membrane). Octogeneraian AMD patients who take 1 oral capsule of RV+ per day often quickly demonstrate anatomic retinal regeneration as well as bilateral improved vision.

View left to right, cases 1, 2 & 3 described above. Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) digital images reveal rapid restoration of normal or more youthful retinal architecture accompanied by marked improvement in visual acuity.