Dr. Bar shares exciting clinical results based on the first five patients enrolled and treated in Epitech’s clinical study 

Asaf Bar, MD, Tel-Aviv, Israel, discussed magnetic neurostimulation—a type of treatment that has been used for other indications, such as depression and Parkinson’s disease—as a potential noninvasive treatment for dry eye.

The therapy, a pulsed magnetic stimulation which, at least for this research, is performed once, takes 11 minutes, has no contact with the eye, and results in a tingling sensation as reported by patients, Dr. Bar said. The treatment was first tested in an animal model, which showed less corneal staining and improved AC fluorescein concentration in the treated eye compared to the non-treated eye. A human trial using this technique is underway.

Currently, five patients with moderate to severe dry eye disease have been recruited, treated in one eye, and followed out to 3 months. Fluorescein staining was reduced in all treated eyes within the first week, with the most prominent results after 2 months, Dr. Bar said. Three out of five patients reported a reduction in eye lubricant use by at least half, and one patient taking cyclosporine for dry eye said the drug no longer stung upon application in the treated eye. Relief of symptoms was reported within 3–4 weeks.

Recruitment for another 25 patients in this trial is ongoing. “We strongly believe this treatment modality will be able to provide those many patients who suffer from dry eye disease on a daily basis some relief that will be long lasting,” Dr. Bar said.

EyeWorld summary