The History of Microcurrent Stimulation for the
Treatment of Retinal Disease and a Call for Investigators for Clinical
The data presented here has
not been reviewed by the FDA, nor has it been peer reviewed.
The microcurrent devices used are approved by the FDA for
the treatment of pain, but they have not been approved for
other uses. The use of a device for an off-label use by a
physician is legal. The use of microcurrent stimulation discussed
here is only one part of a comprehensive program for supporting
visual health. Dr. Miller is not a manufacturer of these devices,
and the material presented here is informational, and is not
intended as simply a solicitation to sell devices.
If you have further questions
about the work being done by Dr. Miller, please contact his
office to arrange an appointment or consultation.
I have been fortunate to have been in the right
place at the right time to have the opportunity to participate in
the rise to prominence of a remarkable new therapy for the treatment
of retinal disease, especially Stargaart's Disease, Age Related
Macular Degeneration , and Retinitis Pigmentosa. For years, conventional
medical wisdom has dictated that these diseases, all relentlessly
and progressively degenerative were untreatable. Hope for finding
a treatment was dim to none. Patients with any of the above were
told to plan for potentially devastating losses of visual acuity.
In the very early Eighties, Grace Halloran (now
Dr. Grace Halloran) learned that she was losing her vision to retinitis
pigmentosa. By the time that she learned of the disease, and the
extraordinarily high likelihood of passing it on to her offspring,
she was already pregnant with her second and had given up her firstborn
for adoption. Grace had no way to find that first child and lived
in fear that she had passed the potential blindness on to both her
Grace's story is told in her book Amazing Grace,
currently in print and published by North Star Publications. By
1983, Grace was legally blind, being worse than 20/200 in both eyes.
Grace is not a person who gives up easily, and in her search for
alternative methods of treatment, she met Herbie Berger, (now Dr.
Herbie Berger). Herbie told her of a new technology, microcurrent
stimulation, which was providing remarkable results for the treatment
of pain. Eager to evaluate anything, Grace asked Herbie for his
They chose to stimulate eight acupuncture points
around the orbit. One of the qualities of acupuncture points is
that they are points of focal low electrical resistance on the surface
of the body. That makes them excellent loci to apply bio-electrical
stimulation, which allows the treatment to penetrate deeper and
faster. Grace had remarkable results, not only stopping the progression
of her disease, but also bringing about amazing improvement in her
vision. Within 12 months, Grace owned her first Grace Halloran has
made it a life's work to help people with retinal disease.
Two years later, in 1985, an optometrist from South
Dakota, Dr. Leland Michael, attended a pain management seminar in
San Francisco, as did Grace. Grace, then the President of the Center
for Eye Health, in Santa Rosa, and Dr. Michaels struck up a friendship.
Dr. Michaels then concluded his West Coast trip with a visit to
Grace to be trained in her procedures for treating RP and ARMD with
microcurrent electrical stimulation.
That training was the beginning of a study that
lasted nearly eight years and consummated in an article in the Journal
of Orthomolecular Medicine in 1993. Dr. Michaels reported the findings
on a group of 25 ARMD patients followed from 1985 to 1992. Dr. Michaels
reported that over the course of the study, there was an average
improvement in the vision in the left eye of 1.4 letters. One patient
with the wet form had a severe bleed causing a 66 letter loss in
that eye. Discounting the extreme skew in the data created by this
one patient, there was a .66 letter average improvement in the left
eye during the same period. Unfortunately, Dr. Michaels died shortly
after completing that phase of the study.
In October 1997, I attended a Symposium for Biologically
Closed Circuits where several papers were presented on the treatment
of ARMD with microcurrent stimulation. By that time, the devices
of choice were from MicroStim® Technology Incorporated. Dr.
Joel Rossen, president of MicroStim®, had developed and patented
a unique line of microcurrent stimulators. I acquired one of the
MicroStim® Devices and shortly thereafter, started treating
macular degeneration patients. I have recently compiled the statistics
for the first 121 patients I treated for macular degeneration (30%
wet and 70% dry) in my office during the last two years. Over all,
84% of all eyes showed improvement of as little as 1 line to as
much as 5 lines on the Snelling visual acuity test. Less than 1%
of all 240 eyes lost more than one line.
The original selection of the points that were treated
with microcurrent stimulation was based on work that had been done
using acupuncture to treat retinal disease. Using his knowledge
of acupuncture, and relying on advise from other experienced acupuncturists,
he made some modifications to the protocols that had been developed
for Grace Halloran. He felt that some minor changes in the points
that were treated would make the treatment more effective.
The results in treating people with macular degeneration
in this office are as good or better than that reported by others.
We are quite pleased with the success that comes from the use of
microcurrent stimulation. The results from the treatment of the
first 121 patients in this office are reported on my website at
In talking with other physicians who are also treating
ARMD patients with the techniques described here, there appears
to be a constancy to the success that is obtained. They have all
reported improvement in at 70-90% of dry patients. I believe that
this is probably due in large part to the technology in the microcurrent
stimulator manufactured by MicroStim®, Inc. This technology,
properly and conscientiously applied brings results in all of the
centers where it has been adopted.
Microcurrent stimulation therapy is not a miracle
cure for macular degeneration. It is a therapy in the form of a
very specific and controlled type of electrical stimulation and
relies on very sophisticated technology. In addition to this stimulation
therapy, the addition of certain supplements, anti-oxidants, and
vitamins that are beneficial for protecting the eye and assisting
the eye in healing is also recommended. Like any disease, there
is a need for the proper diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle.
Return to Macular Degeneration
From the Office of Damon P. Miller II, M.D.,
Contact us at email@example.com
Phone: (650) 948-5120
Fax: (650) 948-5360