Fluoxetine does not enhance the effect of perceptual learning on visual function in adults with amblyopia

Huttunen, H. J. et al. (2018) Fluoxetine does not enhance the effect of perceptual learning on visual function in adults with amblyopia. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 12830. (doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-31169-z) (PMID:30150750) (PMCID:PMC6110780)

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Amblyopia is a common visual disorder that is treatable in childhood. However, therapies have limited efficacy in adult patients with amblyopia. Fluoxetine can reinstate early-life critical period-like neuronal plasticity and has been used to recover functional vision in adult rats with amblyopia. We conducted a Phase 2, randomized (fluoxetine vs. placebo), double-blind, multicenter clinical trial examined whether or not fluoxetine can improve visual acuity in amblyopic adults. This interventional trial included 42 participants diagnosed with moderate to severe amblyopia. Subjects were randomized to receive either 20 mg fluoxetine (n = 22) or placebo (n = 20). During the 10-week treatment period, all subjects performed daily computerized perceptual training and eye patching. At the primary endpoint, the mean treatment group difference in visual acuity improvement was only 0.027 logMAR units (95% CI: −0.057 to 0.110; p = 0.524). However, visual acuity had significantly improved from baseline to 10 weeks in both fluoxetine (−0.167 logMAR; 95% CI: −0.226 to −0.108; p < 0.001) and placebo (−0.194 logMAR; 95% CI: −0.254 to −0.133; p < 0.001) groups. While this study failed to provide evidence that fluoxetine enhances neuroplasticity, our data support other recent clinical studies suggesting that improvement of vision can be accomplished in adults with amblyopia.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Palva, Professor Satu and Palva, Professor Matias
Authors: Huttunen, H. J., Palva, J. M., Lindberg, L., Palva, S., Saarela, V., Karvonen, E., Latvala, M.-L., Liinamaa, J., Booms, S., Castrén, E., and Uusitalo, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 8(1):12830
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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