PURPOSE: The purpose of this systematic review is to identify techniques used for quantification of choriocapillaris (CC) flow in eyes with uveitis using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA), report reliability and level of correlation with techniques such as indocyanine green angiography (ICGA). METHODS: A systematic search of several databases was done. The studies were analyzed for techniques of measurement, reliability, and correlation with other modalities. Risk of bias assessment was performed. RESULTS: Thirteen studies were included. CC vessel density (7 studies) and flow deficit area (4 studies) were the most used indices. There was significant heterogeneity in the studies due to differences in the scan protocol, thresholding strategy, and analysis. Comparison with ICGA was performed by only one study, and reliability indices were reported by only two studies. CONCLUSION: OCTA is a useful tool to measure the CC vascularity in eyes with uveitis. However, standardized acquisition and analysis protocols are needed.
Purpose: The guarded light pipe is a recently described alternative endoillumination technique to chandelier illumination. We sought to compare the outcomes of scleral buckling (SB) under indirect ophthalmoscopy (ID) to heads-up three-dimensional visualization with a guarded light pipe (3DGLP). Methods: A retrospective comparative study was performed, including 47 eyes that underwent SB for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) repair with either traditional ID (n = 31) or 3DGLP (n = 16). Results: The single surgery anatomic success rate was 87.0% in the ID group and 87.5% in the 3DGLP group. The final anatomic success rate was 100% in both groups. The median (interquartile range) post-operative logMAR was 0.10 (0.0-0.20) in the ID group and 0.08 (0.02-0.69) in the 3DGLP group (p = 0.51). The median operative time was 107 (94-123) minutes in the ID group and 100 (90-111) minutes in the 3DGLP group (p = 0.25). Among eyes that underwent subretinal fluid drainage, the operative time was significantly longer in the ID group compared to the 3DGLP group, 113 (100-135) minutes vs 93 (85-111) minutes (p = 0.035). There were no post-operative complications in the ID group and one complication of self-resolving vitreous hemorrhage associated with a malfunctioning cryoprobe in the 3DGLP group (p = 0.34). There were no cases of post-operative cataract progression in either group. Conclusion: Compared to traditional SB, 3DGLP improves ergonomics and educational value with similar anatomical, visual, intra and post-operative outcomes and may result in shorter operative time in cases requiring subretinal fluid drainage.
Dry eye disease affects millions of people worldwide, causing pain, vision disturbance, and reduced productivity. Meibomian gland dysfunction, a major cause of dry eye, is characterized by chronic glandular inflammation, thickening of the meibum, obstruction of terminal ducts, and glandular atrophy. Treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction can utilize heat and pressure applied to the meibomian glands, increasing meibum expression. With self-treatments, however, not all patients achieve lasting improvement, and compliance is often low. In-office thermal systems offer a second line of treatment and could be a much-needed addition for patients who do not respond to conventional treatment. We critically evaluated the efficacy and safety of LipiFlow, iLux, and TearCare based on existing literature. While the studies found a single in-office thermal treatment to be safe and effective in improving short-term signs and symptoms in patients with dry eye, long-term efficacy needs to be further evaluated. Thus, well-controlled, long-term efficacy studies are warranted to draw clear conclusions. The treatment seemed to provide rapid relief of symptoms that may last up to 1 year, but at a considerably higher cost than the at-home treatments. The choice of treatment depends on cost, compliance with at-home treatment, and personal preference.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects the macula - the central part of the retina. It is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the elderly. AMD onset is marked by the presence of lipid- and protein-rich extracellular deposits beneath the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a monolayer of polarized, pigmented epithelial cells located between the photoreceptors and the choroidal blood supply. Progression of AMD to the late nonexudative "dry" stage of AMD, also called geographic atrophy, is linked to progressive loss of areas of the RPE, photoreceptors, and underlying choriocapillaris leading to a severe decline in patients' vision. Differential susceptibility of macular RPE in AMD and the lack of an anatomical macula in most lab animal models has promoted the use of in vitro models of the RPE. In addition, the need for high throughput platforms to test potential therapies has driven the creation and characterization of in vitro model systems that recapitulate morphologic and functional abnormalities associated with human AMD. These models range from spontaneously formed cell line ARPE19, immortalized cell lines such as hTERT-RPE1, RPE-J, and D407, to primary human (fetal or adult) or animal (mouse and pig) RPE cells, and embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived RPE. Hallmark RPE phenotypes, such as cobblestone morphology, pigmentation, and polarization, vary significantly betweendifferent models and culture conditions used in different labs, which would directly impact their usability for investigating different aspects of AMD biology. Here the AMD Disease Models task group of the Ryan Initiative for Macular Research (RIMR) provides a summary of several currently used in vitro RPE models, historical aspects of their development, RPE phenotypes that are attainable in these models, their ability to model different aspects of AMD pathophysiology, and pros/cons for their use in the RPE and AMD fields. In addition, due to the burgeoning use of iPSC derived RPE cells, the critical need for developing standards for differentiating and rigorously characterizing RPE cell appearance, morphology, and function are discussed.
A 49-year-old man presented with acute unilateral blurred vision one week after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. A unilateral serous detachment of the macula, intraretinal hemorrhages, vitritis, and anterior chamber cell was found. Diagnostic testing was negative for infectious and inflammatory causes, and a diagnosis of acute idiopathic maculopathy (AIM) was made. Symptoms and serous detachment resolved over 12 weeks, with residual retinal pigment epithelial changes consistent with the disease course. AIM is a rare diagnosis that presented in close proximity to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination without evidence of coxsackievirus infection. Further research is necessary to clarify an association between this vaccine and uveitis.
BACKGROUND: Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (MOGAD) is an important etiology of neurologic morbidity and specifically, atypical, and relapsing optic neuritis. This review summarizes acute treatment and long-term prevention approaches in MOGAD. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: PubMed and Google Scholar databases were manually searched and reviewed. RESULTS: We review the evidence base for acute treatment of MOGAD with corticosteroids and adjunct therapies, such as intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) and plasma exchange. We discuss the utility of prolonged corticosteroid tapering after the acute attack. We then summarize the commonly used disease-modifying treatments for relapsing MOGAD, including chronic low-dose corticosteroids, classic antirheumatic immune suppressants, biologic agents, and IVIg. CONCLUSIONS: While acute MOGAD attacks are usually treated with high-dose IV corticosteroids, longer oral corticosteroid tapers may prevent rapid relapse. Multiple long-term treatment strategies are being employed in recurrent MOGAD, with IVIg is emerging as probably the most effective therapy.
Millions of people worldwide are bilaterally blind due to corneal diseases including infectious etiologies, trauma, and chemical injuries. While corneal transplantation can successfully restore sight in many, corneal graft survival decreases in eyes with chronic inflammation and corneal vascularization. Additionally, the availability of donor cornea material can be limited, especially in underdeveloped countries where corneal blindness may also be highly prevalent. Development of methods to create and implant an artificial cornea (keratoprosthesis) may be the only option for patients whose eye disease is not suitable for corneal transplantation or who live in regions where corneal transplantation is not possible. The Boston Keratoprosthesis (B-KPro) is the most commonly implanted keratoprosthesis worldwide, having restored vision in thousands of patients. This article describes the initial design of the B-KPro and the modifications that have been made over many years. Additionally, some of the complications of surgical implantation and long-term care challenges, particularly complicating inflammation and glaucoma, are discussed.
Retinoblastoma is the most common primary intraocular malignancy in children. Although traditional chemotherapy has shown some success in retinoblastoma management, there are several shortcomings to this approach, including inadequate pharmacokinetic parameters, multidrug resistance, low therapeutic efficiency, nonspecific targeting, and the need for adjuvant therapy, among others. The revolutionary developments in biomaterials for drug delivery have enabled breakthroughs in cancer management. Today, biomaterials are playing a crucial role in developing more efficacious retinoblastoma treatments. The key goal in the evolution of drug delivery biomaterials for retinoblastoma therapy is to resolve delivery-associated obstacles and lower nonlocal exposure while ameliorating certain adverse effects. In this review, we will first delve into the historical perspective of retinoblastoma with a focus on the classical treatments currently used in clinics to enhance patients' quality of life and survival rate. As we move along, we will discuss biomaterials for drug delivery applications. Various aspects of biomaterials for drug delivery will be dissected, including their features and recent advances. In accordance with the current advances in biomaterials, we will deliver a synopsis on the novel chemotherapeutic drug delivery strategies and evaluate these approaches to gain new insights into retinoblastoma treatment.
PRCIS: Short-term overall success rates were high with either SGDD or CPC. However, SGDD was associated with more clinic visits and an increased risk of additional glaucoma surgery. Both treatments were reasonable options for eyes with inadequately controlled IOP after a single GDD. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to compare the implantation of a second glaucoma drainage device (SGDD) and transscleral cyclophotocoagulation (CPC) in eyes with inadequately controlled intraocular pressure (IOP), despite the presence of a preexisting glaucoma drainage device. METHODS: Patients with inadequately controlled IOP, despite the medical therapy and a preexisting glaucoma drainage device, were enrolled at 14 clinical centers and randomly assigned to treatment with a SGDD or CPC. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Surgical failure was defined as: (1) IOP ≤5 mm Hg or >18 mm Hg or <20% reduction below baseline on maximum tolerated topical ocular hypotensive therapy, (2) reoperation for glaucoma, or (3) loss of light perception. The primary outcome measure was overall success with or without adjunctive medical therapy. RESULTS: Forty-two eyes of 42 participants were randomized to SGDD (n=22) or CPC (n=20). Mean duration of follow-up was 18.6 (±12.1; range: 1.1-38.6) months. The cumulative success rate was 79% for SGDD and 88% for CPC at 1 year ( P =0.63). Although the study was underpowered, no significant differences in IOP, postoperative number of IOP-lowering medications, or adverse events were observed. The number of additional glaucoma surgeries ( P =0.003), office visits during the first 3 months ( P <0.001), and office visits per month after month 3 ( P <0.001) were greater in the SGDD group. CONCLUSIONS: Short-term overall success rates were high with either SGDD or CPC. However, SGDD was associated with more clinic visits and an increased risk of additional glaucoma surgery.
OBJECTIVE: To correlate inflammatory cytokines and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in vitreous and plasma with vitreous retinol binding protein 3 (RBP3), diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity, and DR worsening in a population with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: RBP3, VEGF, and inflammatory cytokines were measured in plasma and vitreous samples (n = 205) from subjects of the Joslin Medalist Study and Beetham Eye Institute. RESULTS: Higher vitreous RBP3 concentrations were associated with less severe DR (P < 0.0001) and a reduced risk of developing proliferative DR (PDR) (P < 0.0001). Higher RBP3 correlated with increased photoreceptor segment thickness and lower vitreous interleukin-12 (IL-12), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and TNF-β (P < 0.05). PDR was associated with lower vitreous interferon-γ and IL-10 and higher VEGF, IL-6, and IL-15 (P < 0.05), but was not associated with their plasma concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: Higher vitreous RBP3 concentrations are associated with less severe DR and slower rates of progression to PDR, supporting its potential as a biomarker and therapeutic agent for preventing DR worsening, possibly by lowering retinal VEGF and inflammatory cytokines.
PURPOSE: OCT scans contain large amounts of information, but clinicians often rely on reported layer thicknesses when assessing the rate of glaucomatous progression. We sought to determine which of these quantifications most closely relate to the subjective assessment of glaucoma experts who had all the diagnostic information available. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Eleven glaucoma specialists independently scored the rate of structural progression from a series of 5 biannual clinical OCT printouts. METHODS: A total of 100 glaucoma or glaucoma suspect eyes of 51 participants were included; 20 were scored twice to assess repeatability. Scores ranged from 1 (improvement) to 7 (very rapid progression). Generalized estimating equation linear models were used to predict the mean clinician score from the rates of change of retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) or minimum rim width (MRW) globally or in the most rapidly thinning of the 6 sectors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The correlation between the objective rates of change and the average of the 11 clinicians' scores. RESULTS: Average RNFLT within the series of study eyes was 79.3 μm (range, 41.4-126.6). Some 95% of individual clinician scores varied by ≤ 1 point when repeated. The mean clinician score was more strongly correlated with the rate of change of RNFLT in the most rapidly changing sector in %/year (pseudo-R2 = 0.657) than the rate of global RNFLT (0.372). The rate of MRW in the most rapidly changing sector had pseudo-R2 = 0.149. CONCLUSIONS: The rate of change of RNFLT in the most rapidly changing sector predicted experts' assessment of the rate of structural progression better than global rates or MRW. Sectoral rates may be a useful addition to current clinical printouts.
PURPOSE: Clinicians use both global and point-wise information from visual fields to assess the rate of glaucomatous functional progression. We asked which objective, quantitative measures best correlated with subjective assessment by glaucoma experts. In particular, we aimed to determine how much that judgment was based on localized rates of change vs. on global indices reported by the perimeter. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Eleven academic, expert glaucoma specialists independently scored the rate of functional progression, from 1 (improvement) to 7 (very rapid progression), for a series of 5 biannual clinical printouts from 100 glaucoma or glaucoma suspect eyes of 51 participants, 20 of which were scored twice to assess repeatability. METHODS: Regression models were used to predict the average of the 11 clinicians' scores based on objective rates of change of mean deviation (MD), visual field index (VFI), pattern standard deviation (PSD), the Nth fastest progressing location, and the Nth fastest progressing of 10 anatomically defined clusters of locations after weighting by eccentricity. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Correlation between the objective rates of change and the average of the 11 clinicians' scores. RESULTS: The average MD of the study eyes was -2.4 dB (range, -16.8 to +2.8 dB). The mean clinician score was highly repeatable, with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.95. It correlated better with the rate of change of VFI (pseudo-R2 = 0.73, 95% confidence interval [CI, 0.60-0.83]) than with MD (pseudo-R2 = 0.63, 95% CI [0.45-0.76]) or PSD (pseudo-R2 = 0.41, 95% CI [0.26-0.55]). Using point-wise information, the highest correlations were found with the fifth-fastest progressing location (pseudo-R2 = 0.71, 95% CI [0.56-0.80]) and the fastest-progressing cluster after eccentricity weighting (pseudo-R2 = 0.61, 95% CI [0.48-0.72]). Among 25 eyes with an average VFI of > 99%, the highest observed pseudo-R2 value was 0.34 (95% CI [0.16-0.61]) for PSD. CONCLUSIONS: Expert academic glaucoma specialists' assessment of the rate of change correlated best with VFI rates, except in eyes with a VFI near the ceiling of 100%. Sensitivities averaged within clusters of locations have been shown to detect change sooner, but the experts' opinions correlated more closely with global VFI. This could be because it is currently the only index for which the perimeter automatically provides a quantitative estimate of the rate of functional progression.
INTRODUCTION: Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) leads to blindness. It has been widely reported that increased intake of ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) diets reduce CNV. Of the three major pathways metabolizing ω-3 (and ω-6 LCPUFA), the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways generally produce pro-angiogenic metabolites from ω-6 LCPUFA and anti-angiogenic ones from ω-3 LCPUFA. Howevehr, cytochrome P450 oxidase (CPY) 2C produces pro-angiogenic metabolites from both ω-6 and ω-3 LCPUFA. The effects of CYP2J2 products on ocular neovascularization are still unknown. Understanding how each metabolic pathway affects the protective effect of ω-3 LCPUFA on retinal neovascularization may lead to therapeutic interventions. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effects of LCPUFA metabolites through CYP2J2 pathway and CYP2J2 regulation on CNV both in vivo and ex vivo. METHODS: The impact of CYP2J2 overexpression and inhibition on neovascularization in the laser-induced CNV mouse model was assessed. The plasma levels of CYP2J2 metabolites were measured by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectroscopy. The choroidal explant sprouting assay was used to investigate the effects of CYP2J2 inhibition and specific LCPUFA CYP2J2 metabolites on angiogenesis ex vivo. RESULTS: CNV was exacerbated in Tie2-Cre CYP2J2-overexpressing mice and was associated with increased levels of plasma docosahexaenoic acids. Inhibiting CYP2J2 activity with flunarizine decreased CNV in both ω-6 and ω-3 LCPUFA-fed wild-type mice. In Tie2-Cre CYP2J2-overexpressing mice, flunarizine suppressed CNV by 33 % and 36 % in ω-6, ω-3 LCPUFA diets, respectively, and reduced plasma levels of CYP2J2 metabolites. The pro-angiogenic role of CYP2J2 was corroborated in the choroidal explant sprouting assay. Flunarizine attenuated ex vivo choroidal sprouting, and 19,20-EDP, a ω-3 LCPUFA CYP2J2 metabolite, increased sprouting. The combined inhibition of CYP2J2 with flunarizine and CYP2C8 with montelukast further enhanced CNV suppression via tumor necrosis factor-α suppression. CONCLUSIONS: CYP2J2 inhibition augmented the inhibitory effect of ω-3 LCPUFA on CNV. Flunarizine suppressed pathological choroidal angiogenesis, and co-treatment with montelukast inhibiting CYP2C8 further enhanced the effect. CYP2 inhibition might be a viable approach to suppress CNV in AMD.
Purpose: To report two pediatric cases of reticular corneal epithelial edema associated with the use of netarsudil ophthalmic solution 0.02%. Observations: In Case 1, a six-year-old male with glaucoma following cataract surgery was treated with netarsudil for thirteen months and developed diffuse reticular corneal epithelial edema on post-operative day one after undergoing transscleral diode cyclophotocoagulation for persistently elevated intraocular pressures. In Case 2, a three-month-old male with bilateral ocular hypertension developed unilateral inferior reticular corneal epithelial edema five weeks after initiation of netarsudil, which had been discontinued in the fellow eye two weeks prior. In both cases, the reticular epithelial edema resolved following cessation of netarsudil. Conclusions and Importance: Netarsudil-associated reticular corneal epithelial edema can occur in infants and young children.
PURPOSE: To evaluate differences in Medicare reimbursements between male and female ophthalmologists between 2013 and 2019. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Ophthalmologists receiving Medicare reimbursements between 2013 and 2019. METHODS: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File was used to determine total reimbursements and number of services submitted by ophthalmologists between 2013 and 2019. Reimbursements were standardized to account for geographic differences in Medicare reimbursement per service. Data from the American Community Survey (ACS) were used to determine socioeconomic characteristics (unemployment, poverty, income, and education) by zip code for the location of each physician's practice. A multivariate linear regression model was used to evaluate differences in annual reimbursements by sex, accounting for calendar year, years of experience, total number of services, ACS zip code data, and proportion of procedural services. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Annual Medicare reimbursement and use of billing codes (e.g., outpatient office visits and eye examinations, diagnostic testing, laser treatment, and surgery). RESULTS: Among 20 281 ophthalmologists who received Medicare reimbursements between 2013 and 2019, 15 451 (76%) were men. The most common billing codes submitted were for outpatient visits and eye examinations (13.8 million charges/year), diagnostic imaging of the retina (5.6 million charges/year), intravitreal injections (2.9 million charges/year), and removal of cataract with insertion of lens (2.4 million charges/year). Compared with men, female ophthalmologists received less in median annual reimbursements (median, $94 734.21 [interquartile range (IQR), $30 944.52-$195 701.70] for women vs. $194 176.90 [IQR, $76 380.76-$355 790.80] for men; P < 0.001) and billed for fewer annual median services (median, 1228 [IQR, 454-2433] vs. 2259 [IQR, 996-4075, respectively]; P < 0.001). After adjustment for covariates, female ophthalmologists billed for 1015 fewer services (95% confidence interval [CI], 1001-1029; P < 0.001) and received $20 209.12 less in reimbursements than men (95% CI, -$21 717.57 to -$18 700.66; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Female ophthalmologists billed for fewer services and received less in reimbursement from Medicare than men over time and across all categories of billing codes. Disparities persisted after controlling for physician and practice characteristics.
In response to brain insults, astrocytes become reactive, promoting protection and tissue repair. However, astroglial reactivity is typical of brain pathologies, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Considering the heterogeneity of the reactive response, the role of astrocytes in the course of different forms of AD has been underestimated. Colombia has the largest human group known to have familial AD (FAD). This group carries the autosomal dominant and fully penetrant mutation E280A in PSEN1, which causes early-onset AD. Recently, our group identified an E280A carrier who did not develop FAD. The individual was homozygous for the Christchurch mutation R136S in APOE3 (APOEch). Remarkably, APOE is the main genetic risk factor for developing sporadic AD (SAD) and most of cerebral ApoE is produced by astroglia. Here, we characterized astrocyte properties related to reactivity, glutamate homeostasis, and structural integrity of the gliovascular unit (GVU), as factors that could underlie the pathogenesis or protection of AD. Specifically, through histological and 3D microscopy analyses of postmortem samples, we briefly describe the histopathology and cytoarchitecture of the frontal cortex of SAD, FAD, and APOEch, and demonstrate that, while astrodegeneration and vascular deterioration are prominent in SAD, FAD is characterized by hyperreactive-like glia, and APOEch displays the mildest astrocytic and vascular alterations despite having the highest burden of Aβ. Notably, astroglial, gliovascular, and vascular disturbances, as well as brain cell death, correlate with the specific astrocytic phenotypes identified in each condition. This study provides new insights into the potential relevance of the gliovasculature in the development and protection of AD. To our knowledge, this is the first study assessing the components of the GVU in human samples of SAD, FAD, and APOEch.
Ho TC, Maamari RN, Kossler AL, Sears CM, Freitag SK, Reshef ER, Shinder R, Rootman DB, Diniz SB, Kahana A, Schlachter D, Do TH, Kally P, Turner S, Mokhtarzadeh A, Harrison AR, Hwang CJ, Kim HJ, Avila SA, Thomas DA, Magazin M, Wester ST, Lee WW, Clauss KD, Holds JB, Sniegowski M, Compton CJ, Briggs C, Malik AI, Lucarelli MJ, Burkat CN, Patel LG, Couch SM. Outcomes of Patients With Thyroid Eye Disease Partially Treated With Teprotumumab. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2022;Abstract
PURPOSE: In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, teprotumumab production was temporarily halted with resources diverted toward vaccine production. Many patients who initiated treatment with teprotumumab for thyroid eye disease were forced to deviate from the standard protocol. This study investigates the response of teprotumumab when patients receive fewer than the standard 8-dose regimen. METHODS: This observational cross-sectional cohort study included patients from 15 institutions with active or minimal to no clinical activity thyroid eye disease treated with the standard teprotumumab infusion protocol. Patients were included if they had completed at least 1 teprotumumab infusion and had not yet completed all 8 planned infusions. Data were collected before teprotumumab initiation, within 3 weeks of last dose before interruption, and at the visit before teprotumumab reinitiation. The primary outcome measure was reduction in proptosis more than 2 mm. Secondary outcome measures included change in clinical activity score (CAS), extraocular motility restriction, margin reflex distance-1 (MRD1), and reported adverse events. RESULTS: The study included 74 patients. Mean age was 57.8 years, and 77% were female. There were 62 active and 12 minimal to no clinical activity patients. Patients completed an average of 4.2 teprotumumab infusions before interruption. A significant mean reduction in proptosis (-2.9 mm in active and -2.8 mm in minimal to no clinical activity patients, P < 0.01) was noted and maintained during interruption. For active patients, a 3.4-point reduction in CAS (P < 0.01) and reduction in ocular motility restriction (P < 0.01) were maintained during interruption. CONCLUSIONS: Patients partially treated with teprotumumab achieve significant reduction in proptosis, CAS, and extraocular muscle restriction and maintain these improvements through the period of interruption.
Blind people face difficulties with independent mobility, impacting employment prospects, social inclusion, and quality of life. Given the advancements in computer vision, with more efficient and effective automated information extraction from visual scenes, it is important to determine what information is worth conveying to blind travelers, especially since people have a limited capacity to receive and process sensory information. We aimed to investigate which objects in a street scene are useful to describe and how those objects should be described. Thirteen cane-using participants, five of whom were early blind, took part in two urban walking experiments. In the first experiment, participants were asked to voice their information needs in the form of questions to the experimenter. In the second experiment, participants were asked to score scene descriptions and navigation instructions, provided by the experimenter, in terms of their usefulness. The descriptions included a variety of objects with various annotations per object. Additionally, we asked participants to rank order the objects and the different descriptions per object in terms of priority and explain why the provided information is or is not useful to them. The results reveal differences between early and late blind participants. Late blind participants requested information more frequently and prioritized information about objects' locations. Our results illustrate how different factors, such as the level of detail, relative position, and what type of information is provided when describing an object, affected the usefulness of scene descriptions. Participants explained how they (indirectly) used information, but they were frequently unable to explain their ratings. The results distinguish between various types of travel information, underscore the importance of featuring these types at multiple levels of abstraction, and highlight gaps in current understanding of travel information needs. Elucidating the information needs of blind travelers is critical for the development of more useful assistive technologies.
Retinal ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury is a common cause of visual impairment. To date, no effective treatment is available for retinal I/R injury. In addition, the precise pathological mechanisms still need to be established. Recently, pemafibrate, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) modulator, was shown to be a promising drug for retinal ischemia. However, the role of pemafibrate in preventing retinal I/R injury has not been documented. Here, we investigated how retinal degeneration occurs in a mouse model of retinal I/R injury by elevation of intraocular pressure and examined whether pemafibrate could be beneficial against retinal degeneration. Adult mice were orally administered pemafibrate (0.5 mg/kg/day) for 4 days, followed by retinal I/R injury. The mice were continuously administered pemafibrate once every day until the end of the experiments. Retinal functional changes were measured using electroretinography. Retina, liver, and serum samples were used for western blotting, quantitative PCR, immunohistochemistry, or enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Retinal degeneration induced by retinal inflammation was prevented by pemafibrate administration. Pemafibrate administration increased the hepatic PPARα target gene expression and serum levels of fibroblast growth factor 21, a neuroprotective molecule in the eye. The expression of hypoxia-response and pro-and anti-apoptotic/inflammatory genes increased in the retina following retinal I/R injury; however, these changes were modulated by pemafibrate administration. In conclusion, pemafibrate is a promising preventive drug for ischemic retinopathies.
Non-invasive electric stimulation (ES) employing a low-intensity electric current presents a potential therapeutic modality that can be applied for treating retinal and brain neurodegenerative disorders. As neurons are known to respond directly to ES, the effects of ES on glia cells are poorly studied. A key question is if ES directly mediates microglial function or modulates their activity merely via neuron-glial signaling. Here, we demonstrated the direct effects of ES on microglia in the BV-2 cells-an immortalized murine microglial cell line. The low current ES in a biphasic ramp waveform, but not that of rectangular or sine waveforms, significantly suppressed the motility and migration of BV-2 microglia in culture without causing cytotoxicity. This was associated with diminished cytoskeleton reorganization and microvilli formation in BV-2 cultures, as demonstrated by immunostaining of cytoskeletal proteins, F-actin and β-tubulin, and scanning electron microscopy. Moreover, ES of a ramp waveform reduced microglial phagocytosis of fluorescent zymosan particles and suppressed lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in BV-2 cells as shown by Proteome Profiler Mouse Cytokine Array. The results of quantitative PCR and immunostaining for cyclooxygenase-2, Interleukin 6, and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α corroborated the direct suppression of LPS-induced microglial responses by a ramp ES. Transcriptome profiling further demonstrated that ramp ES effectively suppressed nearly half of the LPS-induced genes, primarily relating to cellular motility, energy metabolism, and calcium signaling. Our results reveal a direct modulatory effect of ES on previously thought electrically "non-responsive" microglia and suggest a new avenue of employing ES for anti-inflammatory therapy.