In this study we evaluated the efficacy of visual rehabilitation by means of two different types of biofeedback techniques in patients with age related macular degeneration (AMD). Thirty patients, bilaterally affected by AMD, were randomly divided in two groups: one group was treated with an acoustic biofeedback (AB group), the other was treated with luminous biofeedback of a black and white checkerboard flickering during the examination (LB group). All patients underwent a complete ophthalmological examination. Rehabilitation consisted of 12 training sessions of 10 min for each eye performed once a week for both groups. Both groups showed better visual performance after rehabilitation and luminous flickering biofeedback stimulus showed a statistically significant improvement in training the patients to modify their preferred retinal locus in comparison to acoustic biofeedback. This suggests that it might be possible in the damaged retina to override dead photoreceptor and outer retinal layers and involve residual surviving cells, as well as amplify and integrate retinal and brain cortex plasticity by using other spared channels towards associative pathways.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01243645.