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How Vision Protection Therapy Works


Vision Protection Therapy for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Vision Protection Therapy developed by Dr. Luttrull, is the first highly effective preventive treatment for AMD. VPT improves all AMD outcomes and reduces the risks of visual loss in all forms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). It does this safely, without side-effects. The benefits of Vision Protection Therapy include improved visual acuity, improved indoor vision, slowed disease progression, slowed progression of age-related geographic atrophy, prevention of wet AMD, and reduced need for eye injections for wet AMD. We call this new approach to disease prevention and therapy accomplished by VPT

Real World Data: Vision Protection Therapy 1,300% better

at preventing wet AMD than AREDS vitamins

March 2021. Starting with a database of almost 300,000 patients across the US with dry AMD and then matching them for all AMD risk factors to come up with 9,130 matched eyes with dry AMD, the incidence of developing wet AMD (losing vision and needing eye injections) was compared: Vision Protection Therapy vs. AREDS vitamins alone. Analysis by a sophisticated statistical technique call “propensity scoring” found VPT 13X, or 1,300% more effective than AREDS vitamins. The study also found that, on average, VPT patient vision stayed stable or improved, will the vision of AREDS patients continued to worsen. At the end of the 4.75 year study window, VPT patients saw 2 lines better on the eye chart that patients only taking AREDS vitamins. Further, patients with wet AMD who also received VPT needed 69% fewer injections than patients who only got injections – but their visual acuity was just as good!   

This is one of the largest high-quality data studies ever done on dry AMD and the results show that VPT is the first highly effective treatment to prevent wet AMD and vision loss for patients with dry AMD. VPT Real World Data Study

SDM laser as Vision Protection Therapy is the first treatment to slow progression of geographic atrophy (GA) in age-related macular degeneration

Featured in Oct 13 2020 online edition of Medscape:

Dr. Luttrull published his analysis of the effect of SDM laser on progression of age-related geographic atrophy (GA). GA is the worst and most rapidly progressive form of dry AMD. Until now there has been no treatment. All previous attempts to treat GA using other types of laser and drug therapies have failed. However, analysis of patients managed with SDM laser for their AMD revealed that SDM, developed by Dr. Luttrull, slowed progression of GA by over 47% per year compared to AREDS vitamins alone.  SDM is thus the first treatment to safely and significantly (p=0.0001) reduce the rate of progression of dry AMD and first reduce the risk of visual loss from GA. SDM is the first treatment to slow progression and reduce the risk of visual loss from GA, and the only treatment to do so. SDM does this safely, without risks or side effects. Dr. Luttrull will be presenting his groundbreaking  findings at medical meetings around the world throughout 2019 and 2020.

July 2018: Dr. Luttrull publishes first highly effective preventive treatment for “wet” AMD

With colleagues Stephen Sinclair, MD of Drexel University in Philadelphia, and Solly Elmann, MD and Bert Glaser, MD of the National Retinal Institute and University of Maryland Baltimore, the open-access journal PLoS ONE published Dr. Luttrull’s discovery that SDM laser can markedly reduce the risk of vision loss in patients with “dry” Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). In one of the largest ever studies on AMD, and in patients with the highest risks factors for visual loss yet reported, Dr. Luttrull found that SDM laser as reduced the risk of vision loss due to the development of “wet” AMD  by 95-98% per year. This is compared to AREDS vitamins alone at only 4% per year. Overall visual acuity of SDM treated patients remained stable, rather than declining, as would be expected, over time. This discovery, described in the paper entitled: “Low incidence of choroidal neovascularization following subthreshold diode micropulse laser (SDM) in high-risk AMD” represents one of the most important advancements to date in the treatment of AMD and prevention of visual loss in people over 5o years of age.  (Low incidence of choroidal neovascularization following subthreshold diode micropulse laser (SDM) for high-risk AMD. Luttrull JK, Sinclair SH, Elmann S, Glaser BM. PLoS ONE 13(8): e0202097. journal.pone.0202097)  The results of this groundbreaking study have been confirmed analysis of Real World Data (Vestrum Health, Inc; Retinal Protection Sciences, LLC) of over 300,000 AMD patients in the US studied over 3.5 years using a sophisticated statistical technique called “Propensity Scoring” to match patients in a manner similar to Randomized Clinical Trials. In this large, powerful study SDM reduced the risk of developing wet AMD  8.5 times more than AREDS vitamins alone.

Other important recent publications by Dr. Luttrull

February 15 2018 the journal Eye, a division of Nature publishers from the University College London,  published Dr. Luttrull’s research entitled: “Improved visual and retinal function following subthreshold diode micropulse laser (SDM) for retinitis pigmentosa. Developed by Dr. Luttrull, SDM can improve visual acuity, visual fields, and retinal health and function. By producing these improvements safely, Dr. Luttrull hopes that SDM, as “retinal protective therapy”, will slow disease progression and thus reduce the risks of visual loss. 

In February 2020, with colleague David Kent, MD, of Kilkenny Ireland and the University of Liverpool, England,  Dr. Luttrull published his work entitled “Modern Retinal Laser as Neuroprotective Therapy in Open Angle Glaucoma”. This work builds on discovery that SDM can improve visual acuity, visual fields, and optic nerve function in eyes with advanced glaucoma, becoming the first treatment for glaucoma other than lowering of the eye pressure. As more than 60% of patients with glaucoma continue to lose vision despite eye pressure control, it is hoped that SDM can reduce this risk by making the eye and optic nerve healthier.

Dr. Luttrull discusses use of SDM laser to reduce the risk of wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration.Click:


In August 2014 Dr. Luttrull formed “LIGHT”: The International Retinal Laser Society. (LIGHT stands for “Laser Interest Group for Healthier Treatments”). The mission of  LIGHT is to facilitate interaction and collaboration between experts and researchers from around the world to speed discovery and improve patient care. LIGHT members hail from the USA, England, The Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, UAE, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Chile, Oman, Italy, Brazil, India, China, Venezuela, Ukraine, Japan, Slovakia, Russia, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

“Top Ophthalmologist”

According to “Leading Physicians of the World”, Dr. Luttrull continues to be selected by his peers as a “Top Ophthalmologist”.


*”MicroPulse” is a registered trademark of the Iridex Corp. Required use of this trademark should not be construed in any way as an endorsement or recommendation of Iridex products by Dr. Luttrull, as equivalent laser technologies are available from several manufacturers.