The Use of Alpha Lipoic Acid for the Treatment and Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy
Pilot Study: The Use of Alpha Lipoic Acid for the Treatment and Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Phase

    Phase 1/Phase 2
  • Study Type

  • Status

  • Study Participants

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the role of alpha lipoic acid in patients who have moderate non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

The primary aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that the addition of alpha lipoic acid in a diabetic patient's therapeutic regimen can decrease the progression of diabetic retinopathy and preserve visual acuity.
Increased production of free radicals and depletion of antioxidants are commonly observed in diabetic patients. Based on animal studies, increased production of free radicals tends to persist even after blood glucose is tightly controlled. The rationale of using a potent antioxidant is based on the observation that increased oxidative stress associated with hyperglycemia can contribute to cellular injury leading to apoptosis; consequently, leading to diabetic retinopathy. Evidence from animal model showed that alpha lipoic acid (a potent antioxidant) was effective for decreasing the progression of diabetic retinopathy and in reducing free radicals.

Therefore, we hypothesize that therapy that can exert a powerful antioxidant activity can provide a therapeutic modality needed to target the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy.

This study will be a 12-month pilot study demonstrating the role of alpha lipoic acid in patients who have moderate non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Eligible patients will be randomized to two groups, treatment and control groups. Patients in the treatment group will receive 600 mg of alpha lipoic acid daily with routine care while patient in control group will only follow routine care. Optical coherence tomography (OCT)and electronic visual acuity testing algorithm (ETDRS) will be used to measure changes in retinal thickness and visual acuity respectively. Blood changes in macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF), vascular endothelia growth factor (VEGF), Interferon 2 alpha, interleukin 6 and 8 will also be evaluated and compared between the two groups. Descriptive statistics and intention to treat analysis will be used to compare treatment and control groups.
Study Started
Sep 30
Primary Completion
Apr 30
Study Completion
Apr 30
Last Update
Feb 15

Dietary Supplement Alpha Lipoic Acid

Same as Arm description

  • Other names: ALA

Alpha Lipoic Acid Assignment Group Experimental

Alpha lipoic acid assignment group will follow routine care and receive 600 mg oral administration of lipoic acid daily.

Alpha Lipoic Acid Control Group No Intervention

The control group will follow routine care alone.


Inclusion Criteria:

Individual with diabetes mellitus type I or type II mild to moderate non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy which will be based on ETDRS grading scale
Patient must be 18 years and older

Exclusion Criteria:

Patients with severe non-proliferative or proliferative diabetic retinopathy
Patients with macular edema
Eye diseases that may interfere with visualization of the fundus such as preretinal hemorrhage, cataract, vitreous hemorrhage
Patient that has undergone any type of interventional therapy for diabetic retinopathy (Such as laser photocoagulation, vitrectomy)
Patient with cataract surgery within a period of 4 months
Patients with other retinal diseases
Patients on chronic administration of alpha lipoic acid
Known intolerance/hypersensitivity to alpha lipoic acid
Patient with history of dialysis in cases of renal insufficiency and history of kidney transplantation
Malignancies or life threatening diseases as determined by the investigators
Current history of drug or alcohol abuse
Pregnant and breast feeding women
Cognitively impaired patients
Participation in a clinical trial within the last 30 days
No Results Posted