January 2019: The first treatment to slow progression of geographic atrophy (GA) in age-related macular degeneration
Dr. Luttrull has submitted for publication his analysis of the effect of SDM laser on progression of age-related 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, reduced the rate of GA progression by 55% per year compared to AREDS vitamins alone. This means that over 3 years of maintained treatment, patients receiving SDM would worsen 83% less that if they did not have SDM treatment. SDM is thus the first treatment to safely and significantly (p=0.0002) reduce the rate of progression of dry AMD and first reduce the risk of visual loss from GA. Dr. Luttrull will be presenting his groundbreaking findings at medical meetings around the world throughout 2019.
July 2018: Dr. Luttrull publishes first preventive treatment for “wet” Age-related Macular Degeneration
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 “retinal protective therapy” (RPT) reduced the risk of vision loss due to the development of “wet” AMD (which requires monthly eye injections) as much as 95-98% compared to taking AREDS eye vitamins alone. 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. https://doi.org/10.1371/ journal.pone.0202097)
Other important new 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 May 2018, with colleagues John Samples, MD, David Kent, MD, and Bryant J Lum, MD, Dr. Luttrull published his work entitled “Panmacular subthreshold diode micropulse laser (SDM) as neuroprotective therapy in open angle glaucoma”. This reports Dr. Luttrull’s 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.
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, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Chile, Oman, Italy, Brazil, India, China, Venezuela, Ukraine, Japan, Slovakia, Russia, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. As executive director of LIGHT Dr. Luttrull oversaw the fourth annual meeting of LIGHT, October, 2018 in Chicago.
Dr. Luttrull in the News
Because of the novelty and importance of his work, it has been featured by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and featured by the medical website “Medscape“online http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/848049
According to “Leading Physicians of the World”, Dr. Luttrull continues to be selected by his peers as a “Top Ophthalmologist”.
2018 Speaking Schedule
European School for Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology (ESASO) April 2018; European Society of Retina Specialists (Euretina) September 2018, Vienna, Austria; International Retinal Laser Society (LIGHT) October, Chicago.
In recognition of his leadership in the development of retinal laser treatments, Dr. Luttrull was invited to present the Plenary Lecture of the International Society for Laser Safety and American Laser Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, March 20, 2017. The ISLS Conference is a biannual meeting of international scientists and government regulators charged with maintaining laser safety in scientific, medical, industrial, and commercial use. Dr. Luttrull’s lecture will be entitled: “The difference safety makes: Laser is the future of blindness prevention.“
September 2017, Dr. Luttrull was invited to present the prestigious meeting-opening Plenary Lecture called the “Amsterdam Retina Debate” of the European Society of Retina Specialists , Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Luttrull’s lecture was entitled: “Laser should be the first-line treatment for diabetic macular edema”. Dr. Luttrull debated Robin Hamilton, MD, head of the retina service at the famous Moorfields Eye Hospital, London.
Dr. Luttrull continues as a member of the retina faculty of the European School for Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology (ESASO).