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There is evidence that antioxidants can slow the course of retinal degeneration in animal models of RP. A human clinical trial has commenced (2008) to establish whether Retinacomplex® treatment will slow down the rate of retinal degeneration in adult patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). This trial is being conducted in Spain.

Components of Retinacomplex®:

1) Lutein and Zeaxanthin - carotenoids normally present in the retina and photoreceptors (rods and cones). They act as antioxidants, absorb UV and blue light and neutralise reactive oxygen (toxic form of oxygen).
2) L-Glutathione (GSH) - another important antioxidant already present in all retina cells.
3) Alpha-Lipoic Acid - antioxidant.
4) Polysaccharides from Lycium Barbarum Lynn (wolfberries) - wolfberries, used in China for thousands of years for their reported beneficial effect on many organs of the body including the eyes.

The first 12 months of the study have now been concluded with a total of 44 subjects with RP. 23 patients received Retinacomplex and 21 subjects received a placebo (similar appearing tablets with no active ingredients) for 12 months. There was some initial evidence suggesting that Retinacomplex may slow the progression of disease in the treated subjects compared with those getting only placebo (September 2009).

This on-going study has been extended to further investigate this possible beneficial effect. This trial will hopefully provide evidence to help answer the question of whether this or other antioxidant preparations have any role to play in the treatment of RP.

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