“If RI OkuStim means slowing down the course of this disease, then I’d like to take advantage of it.”
Irene (49) from Hamburg

RI OkuStim® therapy

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Just being able to do something

A transcorneal electrical stimulation, RI OkuStim® therapy offers you the chance to slow down the course of retinitis pigmentosa. Studies show that it is possible to activate several so-called neuroprotective growth factors and thus create a cell-retention effect in the retina. Therapy can be performed independently at home after you have been sufficiently instructed by your doctor.


One therapy, three components

RI OkuStim® therapy consists of a system with three components. Your eyes will be stimulated by means of electrodes with a weak electrical current via the RI OkuStim® device.

RI OkuSpex® frame

RI OkuSpex® frame is used to hold the electrodes directly on the eye. The frame can be adjusted to fit the shape of individual faces.

RI OkuEl® electrodes

RI OkuEl® electrodes are extremely thin 100 μm electrode filaments placed on the surface of the eye below the pupil. They are suitable for single-use, patients hardly notice them and with a little practice they can also be clipped into the OkuSpex® frame’s holder by the visually impaired.

RI OkuStim® device

Individual treatment parameters for the patient are set by a doctor and stored on the RI OkuStim® device’s memory card.  The device has a sound output in addition to a display so that it may also be used by those with visual limitations.

What does RI OkuStim® therapy do?

RI OkuStim® is one of the very first outpatient therapies for RP, and its efficacy has been demonstrated in clinical trials.

Research results show that the activation of several so-called neuroprotective growth factors on the retina - by means of electrical stimulation - can have a retention effect on the dying retinal cells. Thus, the degeneration of affected cells can also be reduced. Both contribute to enabling longer cellular function of the remaining cells. The retention can, for example, be measured or examined by a so-called electroretinography (ERG). This represents the electrical activity of the cells in response to light stimuli.

With RI OkuStim® RP patients have a therapy option which is considered safe by a panel of experts consisting of doctors and representatives from the patient organisation PRO RETINA on the basis of  current studies.


Beginning RI OkuStim®

Using the RI OkuStim® system is so easy that therapy can take place independently at the patient’s home - at the discretion of a physician. The doctor will first adjust the RI OkuSpex® frame to the patient’s face and then determine the individual treatment parameters for the patient by means of a threshold measurement. An initial therapy session will then follow. The individual treatment parameters will be stored on the RI OkuStim® device’s memory card.  

Only 30 minutes per week

1. Based on clinical trials, a stimulation session of 30 minutes per week is currently recommended.

2. During therapy, the patient keeps his eyes closed. During this time, the RI OkuStim® device will continuously monitor current flow and resistance. Therapy can be interrupted at any time by pressing the pause button.

Visible results

To date, RI OkuStim® therapy has been applied to ca.150 patients, including over long periods of time, for study purposes.

Pilot study

The pilot study conducted at the University of Tuebingen eye clinic showed that RI OkuStim® therapy is safe and can have a positive effect on the course of the disease for RP patients.

Long-term study

The second long-term study conducted at the University of Tuebingen eye clinic in which RI OkuStim® therapy was implemented weekly for 52 weeks, showed a significant improvement in cell activity, indicating a slowing of the disease progression, and confirmed that it is safe to use. (2)

Observational study

The safety of RI OkuStim® therapy was clearly confirmed during an observational study “TESOLA” over 24 weeks which took place in 11 European clinics from Oslo to Florence with 105 RP patients. (3)

My RI Therapy

We will advise and accompany you on your path to individualised RI OkuStim® therapy. What exactly this entails, you can learn here.


REFERENCES

(1) Schatz et al.: Transcorneal Eletrical Stimulation for Patients with Retinitis pigmentosa: A Prospective, Randomized, Sham-Controlled Exploratory Study. IOVS, June 2011, vol. 52, no 7, 4485-4496.
(2) Schatz et al.: Transcorneal Eletrical Stimulation for Patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa: A Prospective, Randomized, Sham-Controlled Follow-up Study Over 1 Year. IOVS, Jan 2017, vol. 58, no 1 257-296.
(3) TESOLA observational study (results presented for scientific discussion at the Euretina in September 2015 and the WOC in February 2016. Paper in preparation.)