Flicker sensitivity change predicts development of GA

July 4, 2012

The rate of change in flicker sensitivities is helpful in predicting geographic atrophy (GA)

The rate of change in flicker sensitivities is helpful in predicting geographic atrophy (GA), according to a study in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

The longitudinal investigation, led by Dr D. Luu, Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Australia, looked at 187 patients with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Patients completed a minimum of four consecutive 6-monthly flicker perimetry tests. The study groups included 16 people who developed GA, 24 controls and 18 high-risk early-AMD patients.

The results revealed that compared to the control group, mean flicker sensitivity reduced in the months before the patients developed GA or choroidal neovascularization (CNV).

Rate of change in flicker sensitivity significantly increased in GA patients, but not in patients with CNV. Eyes that developed late AMD experienced a large reduction in flicker sensitivity.