Study Purpose: The purpose of the study is to evaluate and document physiologic and functional changes in visual performance of patients diagnosed with albinism (a dopamine deficiency state) following a trial of oral Levodopa/carbidopa treatment.
Prior studies in children with Levodopa/carbidopa, have proposed that the improvement in visual acuity is related to a change in the neural network of the striate cortex (amblyopia treatment). In this study we propose that the retina itself in albinism is deficient in dopamine, and vision improvement will occur as a result of improved retinal function in response to the deficient neurotransmitter dopamine. This study has a pretest-post-test design in order to determine if improvement in vision is in response to replacement of deficiency (dopamine).
4 month study requiring 3 office visits (pre-treatment, 3 months, and 4 months)
Patients with Oculocutaneous albinism will be recruited ages 3 and up, weight greater than 25 pounds. Entrance into the study is dependent upon clinical evidence of decreased or absent pigmentation in skin, hair, and eyes.
Exclusion criteria include children under 3 or less than 25 pounds, or ocular pathology not attributable to albinism. Additionally, patients taking nonselective monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, a self-reported history of depression, neurologic disease, a history of myocardial infarction, peptic ulcer or who are pregnant or nursing will be excluded.
All patients will be treated with Levodopa/carbidopa 4mg/kg/day in three divided doses (Dose determination outlined below).
For more information contact Angie Adler at 608-265-7557