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Protocol Details

An Investigation of Vitamin A Palmitate Supplementation in Patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (and without reticular pseudodrusen) and Delayed Dark Adaptation

This study is NOT currently recruiting participants.

Summary | Eligibility | Citations | Contacts




Sponsoring Institute

National Eye Institute (NEI)

Recruitment Detail

Type: Completed Study; data analyses ongoing
Gender: Male & Female
Min Age: 50 Years
Max Age: 120 Years

Referral Letter Required


Population Exclusion(s)



Eye Examinations;
Retinal Pigment Epithelium

Recruitment Keyword(s)




Investigational Drug(s)

Vitamin A Palmitate Softgels

Investigational Device(s)



Drug: Vitamin A palmitate

Supporting Site

National Eye Institute


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease. It is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 55 in the U.S. Changes in the eye can make it difficult for the eye to adjust to low light. This is known as dark adaptation. Identifying and watching the early to middle stages of AMD and changes in dark adaptation might help researchers develop new treatments to stop the disease before it becomes severe. Taking vitamin A might help improve vision in people with AMD.


To see if taking vitamin A improves vision in people with AMD. Also to improve understanding of AMD and associated dark adaptation.


Adults ages 50 and older with AMD and normal liver function


Participants will be screened with:

Medical and eye disease history

Eye exam: The pupil will be dilated with eye drops. Pictures will be taken of the retina and the inside of the eye.

Including the screening visit, participants will have at least 5 visits. They will be about once a month over 6 months. Visits include:

Questions about eye problems in certain light

Eye exam

Blood and urine tests

Dark adaptation protocol: Participants will sit at a machine in a dark room. They will look into the machine and push a button when they see a light. This lasts 20-30 minutes.

Participants will take a vitamin A supplement by mouth once a day for 2 months. They will record when they take the pills in a diary.

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To be eligible, the following inclusion criteria must be met, where applicable.

-Participant must be 50 years of age or older.

-Participant must understand and sign the protocol s informed consent document.

-Any participant of childbearing potential must be willing to undergo urine pregnancy tests throughout the study.

-Any participant of childbearing potential and any participant able to father children must have (or have a partner who has) had a hysterectomy or vasectomy, be completely abstinent from intercourse, or must agree to practice at least one acceptable method of contraception throughout the course of the study and for one week after study supplement discontinuation. Acceptable methods of contraception include:

--Hormonal contraception (i.e. birth control pills, injected hormones, dermal patch or vaginal ring),

--Intrauterine device,

--Barrier methods (diaphragm, condom) with spermicide, or

--Surgical sterilization (tubal ligation).

-Participants must agree to notify the study investigator or coordinator if any of their doctors initiate a new prescription medication during the course of this study.

-Participant must agree to not take greater than or equal to 8000 IU vitamin A palmitate outside the study supplementation.

-For supplementation eligibility, participant must have normal liver function as demonstrated by the Chemistry 20 panel, or have mild abnormalities not above grade 1 as defined by the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v4.0 (CTCAE).


A participant is not eligible if any of the following exclusion criteria are present:

-Participant is in another investigational study and actively receiving study therapy.

-Participant is unable to comply with study procedures or follow-up visits.

-Participant is already taking vitamin A palmitate supplements greater than or equal to 8,000 IU.

-Participant has a history of vitamin A deficiency.

-Participant has a condition that, in the opinion of the investigator, would preclude participation in the study (e.g., unstable medical status including blood pressure and glycemic control).

-Participant has a history of hepatitis or liver failure.

-Participant has chronic gastrointestinal disease.

-Participant will be excluded if the participant has serologic evidence of an active hepatitis infection.

-Participant was in Cohort 1 and took his/her last dose of vitamin A palmitate less than two months prior to enrolling in Cohort 2.


The participant must have at least one eye meeting all inclusion criteria and none of the exclusion criteria listed below.


-The eye must have a best-corrected ETDRS visual acuity score better than or equal to 20/80 (i.e., equal to or better than 54 letters).

-Participant must have at least one large druse.

-Abnormal dark adaptation, which is defined as having an Adapt Dx test with a RIT of 16 minutes or more at the screening visit. This is at least one standard deviation greater than the average normal RIT and includes room to account for variability in testing. If at any point during current testing or under a previous NEI protocol, a participant has exceeded the 40 minute test ceiling, they will have satisfied the inclusion criteria.


-Presence of advanced macular degeneration with central geographic atrophy or choroidal neovascularization.

-Presence of definite reticular pseudodrusen.

-An ocular condition is present (other than retinal vein occlusion) that, in the opinion of the investigator, might alter visual acuity during the course of the study (e.g., vein occlusion, uveitis or other ocular inflammatory disease, neovascular glaucoma, Irvine-Gass Syndrome, etc.).

-Substantial cataract that, in the opinion of the investigator, is likely to be decreasing visual acuity by three lines or more (i.e., cataract would be reducing acuity to 20/40 or worse if eye was otherwise normal).

-History of major ocular surgery (e.g. cataract extraction, scleral buckle, any intraocular surgery, etc.) within three months prior to study entry.

-History of YAG (Yttrium-Aluminum Garnet) capsulotomy performed within two months prior to study entry.

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Not Provided

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Principal Investigator

Referral Contact

For more information:

Emily Y. Chew, M.D.
National Eye Institute (NEI)
NIHBC 10 - CRC BG RM 3-2531
(301) 496-6583

Angel H. Garced, R.N.
National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institutes of Health
Building 10
Room 10D45
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
(301) 594-3141

Office of Patient Recruitment
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Building 61, 10 Cloister Court
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Toll Free: 1-800-411-1222
Local Phone: 301-451-4383
TTY: TTY Users Dial 7-1-1

Clinical Trials Number:


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